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The Department of Home Affairs will no longer issue temporary passports from September 1.

A circular from the DHA states that SA citizens have been refused entry into a number of countries when travelling on temporary passports. “This has resulted in accusations and claims against the department in cases where citizens are refused entry into particular country despite the department having issued the temporary passport.

Temporary passports have been abused for corruption purposes and this threat remains, which puts South Africa at risk of its travel documents being unreliable and not trustworthy. Elimination of temporary passports aims to remove this risk.”

The DHA added that temporary passports were initially issued as an interim travel document due to longer turn-around times taken to issue a permanent tourist passport. “This turn-around time has improved drastically rendering issuance of temporary passports redundant.”

Only an Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) will be issued to an applicant under circumstances of emergency travel purposes.

The Department of Home Affairs announced that it will discontinue the issuance of Temporary Passports as of 01 September 2014.

A Temporary Passport was initially issued as an interim travel document due to longer turn-around times taken to issue a Permanent Tourist Passport valid for ten years. This turn-around time has improved drastically, rendering the issuance of Temporary Passports redundant.

The turn-around time for a passport applied for on our Live Capture system takes 13 days while that applied for using the manual system is issued within 24 days. Emergency Travel Certificates are issued on the same day in consideration of the nature of circumstances presented as an emergency need.

The Department also noted that South Africans traveling abroad as well as to neighbouring states are refused entry when traveling on Temporary Passports. This has resulted in accusations and claims against the Department in cases where citizens are refused entry into a particular country despite being in possession of a Temporary Passport.

In this regard, only an Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) will be issued to an applicant under circumstances of emergency travel purposes such as when a passport that is lost while abroad; and traveling to countries that accept ETCs for purposes of assisting family members in distress or if a family member is deceased.

For more info go to http://www.dha.gov.za/