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My SA passport has expired

It is important to apply for your new passport well in advance, at least a year before the expiry date.
Germany has a “Passpflicht” law –  which means Foreigners may only enter or stay in the federal territory if they have a recognized and valid passport or passport substitute, unless they are exempted from the passport requirement by statutory order. For the stay in the federal territory they also fulfill the passport requirement by possessing a substitute ID (Section 48 (2)). This means you need a valid passport at all times.

When you apply for your new South African passport in Germany, you have to apply at either the South African Embassy in Berlin or the Consulate in Munich, depending on where you live.
Please find the official information on the Consulate’s website

After submitting your application, the documents are sent to South Africa, and when your new passport is sent back to Germany you will get a notification that you can come collect your passport. Important! – The South African embassy or consulate cannot influence the processing time.

What to do if you need to travel to South Africa but your passport expired?

Step 1.
You can apply for an emergency passport (Travel certificate), and with this you can travel to South Africa but cannot travel back to Germany.

  • South African citizens who have to travel urgently for reasons of death, sickness or other emergency / urgent matter e.g. loss or theft of passport while overseas, are entitled to an emergency passport (travel certificate), which is valid for a maximum period of nine (9) months,
  • The emergency travel certificate is for a single journey only, to return to the Republic of South Africa
  • An emergency passport (travel certificate) can only be issued to applicants who have 13-digit identity numbers and whose fingerprints have been previously classified on the National Population Register.

We also want to emphasize the following appeal from the consulate:

The embassy and consulate are overloaded with travel for “emergency” applications or enquiries that it becomes difficult to class exactly which cases are an emergency. On emergency travel, our appeal is that we be contacted will real cases of emergency so we can help. What has been happening is people writing to us about “emergencies” only to overload us and we end up dealing with cases under the guise of “emergency”. What this does is to delay resolving real cases of emergency because we are suddenly flooded with “emergencies” as a way for people to travel. This becomes unfair in so far as attending to real cases of emergency are concerned.

Step 2.

Make sure you have proof of your German residence.

If your passport expired, you must take the old passport with you as it is linked to your German Residence permit or visa.
“Re-entry to Germany is easy, if your residence permit is still valid and you still have the old passport.
Take your old and new passport as well as your residence permit with you on your trip.
However, we recommend that you enquire about the entry and exit conditions of the countries you are traveling to and from before you travel abroad

Relevant Gesetze §3, §4 and §13 AufenthG Art 5″

Step 3.

Travel to South Africa and apply for a new passport in South Africa, see more about applying for your passport in South Africa here.

Step 4.

When you are back in Germany, visit the Ausländerbehorde, and inform them that you have a new passport

Dual passports

Please be aware that it is illegal to enter and exit South Africa on another passport if you are still a South African citizen. You can be fined for doing this.

“In terms of the South African Citizenship Amendment Act of 2004, which came into effect on 15 September 2004, it is now an offence for a major (over 18 years of age) South African citizen to enter the Republic or depart making use of the passport of another country.
Furthermore, it is also now an offence for such a citizen, while in South Africa, to use his or her foreign citizenship or nationality to gain advantage or avoid a responsibility or duty.
Essentially, the Amendment Act provides that an adult South African citizen, who has dual citizenship or nationality, can freely use his or her foreign passport outside South Africa. However, they must use their South African passport to depart from or enter South Africa.”

Children under 18

There is no requirement to enter and leave South Africa with your South African passport. See section 26B of the South African Citizen Act

Info on the web

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