Skip to content

South Africans in Germany

Home » SA Consular and Embassy services » My SA Passport is stolen or lost

My SA Passport is stolen or lost

One of the worst things that can happen to you while in a foreign country is having your passport stolen or lost. 
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 have to
report a stolen or lost passport to the authorities and apply for a new passport as soon as you can.

You have to apply for a new passport at either the South African Embassy in Berlin or the Consulate in Munich, depending on where you live. See our page about applying in Germany.
Please also refer to the official information on the Consulate’s website.

Advice – make secure electronic copies of all your travel and identification documents.

Information from DIRCO

According to the department of international relations and cooperation – DIRCO

If your passport is lost or stolen while you are traveling abroad, report the loss/theft immediately to the local law enforcement agency (e.g. police station). Take a copy of the police report to the nearest South African High Commission, Embassy, or Consulate-General where you will apply for an emergency travel document. There is a fee attached to the application for an emergency travel document.

Please note that all passport applications are forwarded to the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa for processing and issuance of new passports. The waiting period to receive a new passport abroad can be several months. In emergency situations, the South African Diplomatic or Consular Mission is in a position to issue you with an Emergency Travel Certificate, which will allow you only to travel directly back to South Africa.

To apply for a new Passport or an Emergency Travel Certificate, you must:

  1. Complete an application form.
  2. Be fingerprinted.
  3. Produce written evidence of your South African citizenship (e.g. a birth certificate, identity document, a certified copy of passport, driver’s license). Where available.
  4. Provide a copy of the police report. (in the event of loss or theft)
  5. Present two photographs.
  6. Pay the prescribed fee (as determined by the Department of Home Affairs).

I need to travel, what do I need to do?

These instructions relate only to those who need to travel urgently but whose passport is lost or stolen. If you have no urgent reason to travel, you must apply for your new passport in Germany. This can take a couple of months. 
For normal applications (Passport expiring)  see the following pages:

Step 1. – Report it 

  • Report the loss/theft immediately to the local law enforcement agency (e.g. police station).
  • Take a copy of the police report to the nearest South African High Commission, Embassy, or Consulate-General when you apply for an emergency travel document.

There is a fee attached to the application for an emergency travel document. See more on the DIRCO website

Step 2. – Apply for an emergency passport
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.

Step 3. Inform the Ausländerbehorde (not a requirement but a suggestion)

  • Visit the Ausländerbehorde, and inform them that your passport was stolen and that you have a new emergency passport that you will use to travel to South Africa to apply for a new passport. Remember your residence card is linked to your passport.
  • Confirm with them that re-entry to Germany is possible, and whether additional documentation will be required for re-entry

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

Step 4.

  • Travel to South Africa and apply for a new passport in South Africa, see more about applying for your passport in South Africa here.
  • Take your Emergency passport, a copy of the police report, your residence permit, and any other documentation the Ausländerbehorde listed as necessary with you on your trip.

Step 5. Travel back to Germany

  • You will have to show your German residence card in South Africa before you can board a plane. 
  • You might have additional checks at Passport control when arriving in Germany, so make sure all your paperwork is in order. Remember your residence card is linked to a specific passport. 
    I would take a copy of the police report (if passport was lost or stolen) with me. It might also be a good idea to take proof of your residence. 

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 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.”

You can read more about it here

Additional information

General information about South African passports is available on the website of the Department of Home Affairs:

Related content

SA Consular and Embassy services

The Embassy is in Berlin.Physical Address:Tiergartenstr. 18, 10785 +49-30-22073-0Fax: +49-30-22073-190Facebook page Consulate  in MunichPhysical Address:Sendlinger-Tor-Platz 5,80336 Munich, 89 2311630 from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Currently the