South African Passport Renewal Abroad

A question that’s often in the minds of those who often travel or live abroad: how can one renew their passport if they’re not in their home country? This article will cover the basics of renewing a ZA passport abroad.

South African passport

Table of contents

Is it possible to renew a ZA passport overseas?

Yes, applying for a new passport abroad is possible when you are not in South Africa, and your passport is expiring.

Notice that there’s no "renewal procedure": to replace your expiring passport, you must apply as if you are applying for a new one. The difference is that it’s done in South African embassies or consulates.

How to apply for a new South African passport abroad?

The primary and most obvious way to apply for a South African passport abroad is by applying directly to your local South African diplomatic mission:

  1. Contact the ZA embassy/consulate that covers your region and get an appointment;
  2. Come to your appointment, follow the procedures, and submit the required documents;
  3. Pay for application;
  4. Wait for your application to be processed and get your passport.

You can also apply for your passport online – we’ll explain how below.

Is it possible to apply for a South African online?

To apply for a passport online, apply through the Department of Home Affairs website. Make an account or log in with an existing one, fill out the forms, and submit the needed documents.

However, you will still need to visit your embassy to finish your application.

Documents required for South African passport application abroad

Here are the documents you will need to apply:

South African passport photo requirements

Here are the photo requirements for South African passports:

Here is an example:

South Africa passport photo

Where can I take a ZA passport photo near me?

Depending on your location, you can use services provided by photo studios in your area. However, you must also ensure that they can process your photo to make it fully compliant with the detailed technical specifications.

Or you can also take a picture yourself and use a professional online service such as Visafoto to get your ZA passport photo done. Visafoto can turn your homemade portrait of any size and background into a fully compliant photo: it changes the background, adjusts the sizes, and even fixes red eyes. Make sure to take your picture in good lighting and according to dress code guidelines.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

First, take a photo of our under daylight like this one:

Passport photo original source

After resizing, you will get photos like these ones:

Example of a South Africa passport photo
South Africa passport photo for printing

South African overseas passport application fees

The fees vary depending on which passport you’re applying for:

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