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Dual SA/UK nationality, expired child's SA passport

Hi all

Travelling to SA in 7 weeks for 3-week holiday and realised last week that my 11 year old's SA passport has expired. Went to SA High Commission last week to collect application forms and told to apply now, might take 4 months, but travel with receipt and expired SA passport for child, but enter her on UK passport.

Went to apply today only to be told that advice is incorrect. It will take 4 months. Don't make any plans to travel before then.

Is my UK-born daughter able to travel in and out of SA on her British passport as the law quoted on states
"...Applicants should note that In terms of section 26(B) of the South African Citizenship Act, 1995, it is a punishable offence for a South African citizen of 18 years and older to leave or enter South Africa on a foreign passport...."
What does mean for my 11-year old???

Any advice would be appreciated. @Alethia had some great advice on several threads, just not sure how to proceed.




  • @williamburg
    At the worst you will receive a warning for not having your child passport , a fine at the most.
    Normally SA immigration pick up on the place of birth on a British passport and if its in SA then its a bit of a problem, but your childs place of birth is in the UK so immigration may not notice.
    Please read these posts.
  • Thank you @Alethia

    That's the same thread I first picked up your advice and your feedback is appreciated. The law makes sense if you're an adult. Wasn't sure how to interpret if you're a child travelling in as my understanding of the whole dual citizenship and retention comes into effect when you're 18. Even though my son's SA passport is not expired is it better to check both of them into SA on UK passport as visitors and the wife and I do SA as ours say born Cape Town and theirs say born UK.

    Would you recommend I continue with the renewal of the SA passport here or go with expired passport to SA and apply Day 1 of holiday at Home Affairs in SA as I believe it's being processed in 10 working days there?


  • @dwilliamburg

    Children born outside South African citizens have up to the age of eighteen to apply for SA citizenship

    By way the new immigration rules introduced by South Africa in June 2015 relating to travelling with children requires that. Parents travelling with children (under 18) will be asked to show the child’s full unabridged birth certificate. The one issued by the Rigister Office, which lists the child’s details and both parents’ details. You must have an original issued by the register office no photocopies are accepted.

    The short birth certificate given at the time of birth which only lists the child’s particulars won’t be accepted.

    If you can change your plans and wait for your daughters passport all well and good but I doubt if anything terrible will happen if both children travel on British passports.
  • Alethia is absolutely correct @dwilliamburg, I doubt you'll face much trouble for your child travelling on her UK passport. But I must emphasise that you will need that unabridged birth certificate to travel to South Africa with your child. Most airlines are enforcing this new law and you may well not be able to even board your flight to SA without the certificate. Annoying, I know.
  • Thank you everyone for all of your valuable input. Unfortunately I'm not going to get a chance to test the theory above of UK-born kids travelling into and out of SA on UK passport as the passport arrived this week. They quote 4 months for the passport to be available, offer no temporary passports anymore and, unless someone has died, don't do emergency passports either. I had someone in SA text their info line each day monitoring the progress of the application, then waited one week after the status said "returning to office of application". I popped in with the receipt and there it was. No notice from them to say it's available for collection....
  • I'm glad you got the passport - it should simplify matters considerably for you. Enjoy your trip!
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