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What to do if you lose your South African passport overseas

Source: Business Tech, 27/05/2024

Losing a passport can be a serious problem if you are abroad on holiday or a business trip.
According to Nedbank, the following steps must be immediately taken if you lose your passport:
• Report the loss at the nearest police station.
• Contact the nearest South African embassy, consulate or high commission.
You do not have to completely abandon your travel plans as a South African diplomatic or consular mission can issue an emergency travel certificate that will allow one to return to South Africa at the end of their trip.
One can also apply for a new passport when they apply for an emergency travel certificate.
That said, all passport applications at South African missions abroad are then sent to the Department of Home Affairs for processing.
It can still take the Department several months to process and deliver a new passport, so you’ll need an emergency travel certificate to return to South Africa.
When applying for an emergency travel certificate and a new passport at the South African embassy, you’ll need to follow these steps:
• Complete an application form.
• Submit your fingerprints.
• Provide written proof of your South African citizenship using a birth certificate, identity document, certified copy of passport or driving licence (whichever you have available).
• Provide a copy of the police report on the loss or theft of your passport.
• Provide 2 photographs with your application.
• Pay the prescribed fee.
Nedbank said that when travelling out of South Africa, one should keep a digitised copy of their essential items, such as passport, identity document and driving licence.
Physical copies can be stored in different items of luggage, or you can leave copies behind with someone you trust.
The bank said that the following tips can also ensure that your passport is secure when travelling:
• Buy a good-quality passport holder to protect your passport from water damage and wear.
• Store your passport in a concealed zippered pocket safe from pickpockets or in your hotel safe.
• Whenever anyone asks you to produce your passport to be scanned or stamped, always check that the passport they return to you is indeed yours

South Africa Immigration Company