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oscar

Passport Renewal

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Has anyone renewed their South African Passport Recently. I was advised by the SA  Consulate that it takes six months to get a new one. They also sent me a Passport application as well as a new ID application which requires you to get all your fingerprints. They also require a copy of the letter you received when you applied for Dual Citizenship. its the Certificate of Exemption in terms of Section 6 (2) of the South African Citizen Act. The only problem is getting the forms fingerprinted and notarized. I called the police and they refuse to take your fingerprints, I also called a few places advertising that they do fingerprinting but its only electronic digital fingerprinting that cannot be transferred to the ID document and the passport application. So it looks like the only way to get this done is go to the SA Consulate. Has anyone had similar experience in getting fingerprinted and how long did the process take ?

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Hi Oscar - I did this last year through the LA Consulate - which would also be the consulate dealing with your renewal in CA.  I agree - the single most complicated thing was finding an organization who could/would do the ink fingerprints - as the police here in Colorado don't do it either.  I did eventually find a company in Denver that did the ink ones - it took an HOUR to get it all done, but I was just so grateful to actually find a place to do it.  

Once I submitted all the documents that you mention etc, it took just short of 7 months.  I had not sent a self addressed envelope, but once the passport was back with the consulate - they sent me an email, and I sent the envelope.  

Sorry I can't be more helpful on the fingerprinting.

 

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Hi Oscar

I have just gone through this process getting my kids passports. We actually went to the prison in Raleigh! They had a fingerprinting service there and the lady doing them was actually used to South Africans and the form used - thank goodness. It took just over 6 months from the time we sent it in. 

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Thanks Malamute and RubyShoes, its such a slow process. 

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Yep, pretty much 6 months.

I did it 3 years ago in person at NYC consulate and it took 5 and 1/2 weeks.
I took all my original docs there and they made copies, so no notarizing, and they did the fingerprints.

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Quick question on passports. We are getting closer to our priority date (F3 Immigration Visa) and I just want to start getting my ducks in a row. How long does our SA passports still have to be valid after we entered the US? A year or five? How long before we get US passports? Dual Citizenship is not a issue for me so my SA passport doesn't have to get renewed if it doesn't have to.

Thanks for a great forum

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Your passport doesn't have to be valid once you enter the USA - (once you are here as an immigrant on a Green Card - which is the moment you are stamped in - there is no obligation legally to maintain a current passport) but bear in mind you won't be able to travel beyond the borders without it, so not having a valid passport is not a very good idea. Especially as, once in the USA, it takes about 6 months+ to get a new SA Passport.

As a GC holder you are not eligible for a USA passport.  You can remain a GC holder and never naturalize, if that is what you choose to do.  After you have been a GC holder for 5 years, you are eligible to naturalize as US Citizens, provided you meet all the requirements, which include how many months of the preceding 5 years you have spent in the USA, absence of any felonies etc.  Naturalization can take a couple of months at least from the time you start that process.  Once you are a USA citizen, you are eligible to apply for a USA passport - and that is fairly quick - from a few days (expedited) to a couple of weeks.

If you are not wanting to retain dual citizenship, you need do nothing - you will remain a SA citizen up until the moment you take the oath at the naturalization ceremony.  Then you will no longer be a SA citizen.  Should you wish to retain it - fill in the forms and file the fee at the SA consulate a couple of months before you intend to naturalize, and you will be granted an exemption from losing your SA citizenship when you naturalize.  You must have that exemption in hand before you take the oath as a US citizen.

So, in short, your SA passport can expire once you are in the USA, but you won't be able to travel anywhere - even back to South Africa - so best plan is to make sure your SA passport has 6+ years validity on it when you enter the USA to see you through the period until you are eligible to naturalize and get your US passports.

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On 7/30/2018 at 2:53 PM, Woekes said:

Quick question on passports. We are getting closer to our priority date (F3 Immigration Visa) and I just want to start getting my ducks in a row. How long does our SA passports still have to be valid after we entered the US? A year or five? How long before we get US passports? Dual Citizenship is not a issue for me so my SA passport doesn't have to get renewed if it doesn't have to.

Thanks for a great forum

Rather renew your SA passport while you are still in SA. It is far cheaper, easier and quicker (takes around 2 weeks) to do than when you are in the USA - you'll be sorted for the next 10 years.

Edited by Superkruz

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Did the passport renewal yesterday at the Consulate. it will take about six months to process. Interestingly speaking to the Consular officials they don't know why it takes so long as the diplomatic bag is sent to Pretoria every two weeks. Home Affairs is problem. Interestingly this affects our professional golf players and other sports professionals equally there is no way to speed up the process everyone is stuck in limbo.    

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1 hour ago, oscar said:

Did the passport renewal yesterday at the Consulate. it will take about six months to process. Interestingly speaking to the Consular officials they don't know why it takes so long as the diplomatic bag is sent to Pretoria every two weeks. Home Affairs is problem. Interestingly this affects our professional golf players and other sports professionals equally there is no way to speed up the process everyone is stuck in limbo.    

I am sure they get very tired of complaining South Africans phoning up only 2 or 3 months after they applied, and then giving the consulate an ear-ful, that they haven't got their new passport yet, as seems to happen.  Personally, for both letter of retention and passport, I found the LA consulate very polite and easy to deal with. 

 

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6 hours ago, Superkruz said:

Rather renew your SA passport while you are still in SA. It is far cheaper, easier and quicker (takes around 2 weeks) to do than when you are in the USA - you'll be sorted for the next 10 years.

We did this but kids only get 5 years.

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Just an update on my passport renewal and application for a new computerized unabridged birth certificate.  The Consulate called  to say that my unabridged birth certificate has arrived - the process took 12 weeks, but that was expected. Still waiting for the passport to  arrive possibly in January or February 2019.

I was impressed that the SA Consulate had called to let me know about the unabridged Birth Certificate had arrived. Thank you guys!   

  • Thanks 1

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Any recent updates on time it takes to get passports renewed from LA consulate?

has anyone gone in in person to get it done?

 

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Still waiting!  application was submitted on September 1, 2018 it takes six months, so will probably receive it around March 2019

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Ugh.  Kid wants to do a Europe tour with school in June. Her passport expires October but a couple countries require 6 month’s validity left to enter so she'll need a new one. And payment has to be made by Feb. all cuttIng it very fine,including getting the visa ... 

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