SA Home Affairs Makes It Easier For Citizens Abroad To Get Passports

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The Department of Home Affairs will on Monday launch a pilot project to ease the passport renewal process for South African nationals living in the United Kingdom.

“The pilot project will cover the cities of London, Edinburgh, and Manchester,” the department said in a statement released Sunday by Siya Qoza, spokesperson for the minister of Home Affairs.

“To deliver this service, the department is extending its partnership with VFS Global to implement the pilot in the UK. VFS Global will receive applications for passport reissues at its new centres in the three cities.”

The department said South African nationals will be able to visit the VFS Global centres to renew their South African passports.

“This is part of the effort to introduce innovative and effective methods of improving service delivery as the new passport service will accelerate the processing of applications and delivery of completed products to clients in the UK,” said the statement.

The department said passport application processing for adults (renewal) and passport application processing for minors (renewal) are the key services that will be delivered.

The South African diaspora in the United Kingdom can lodge applications at three convenient locations run by VFS Global.

The centre in London is located at 66 Wilson Street, London, EC2A 2BT, while in Edinburgh at 1 Rennie’s Isle, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6QT and in Manchester at 50 Devonshire Street North, Manchester, M12 6JH.

The department said the Key benefits for applicants include:

·        Operating times in London, Edinburgh, and Manchester (08.30 am to 4.00 pm)
·        Dedicated courier service for processed passports
·        Dedicated email for applicant queries
·        Quicker turnaround time for passport renewal
·        Passport photo service also available in London, Edinburgh   and Manchester
·        Application tracking facility with SMS service.

“The new passport service will advance the department’s movement from manual, paper-based processes to digital systems, for smart, faster, and reliable services,” said the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi.

“With this system in place, our citizens in the UK will no longer wait for extended periods when renewing their passports. This will also ease space constraints at SA’s embassy in London.”

Commenting on the development, Jiten Vyas Regional Group Chief Operating Officer for VFS Global, said: “We would like to thank the Department of Home Affairs in the Republic of South Africa for its continued faith in us.

“Our passport and consular services have been growing from strength to strength, and we look forward to bringing those best-in-class services to South African nationals here in the United Kingdom with the opening of these three new Centres.”