Travelling with your South African permanent residence certificate

south african permanent residenceIn 2015 the process for issuing proof of South African permanent residence changed.

Up to that point, permanent residents received a stamp or sticker in their passport as endorsement of their residency status.

The change saw a scrapping of the endorsement and instead permanent residents started to only receive their permanent residence certificates.

A lot of permanent residents became dissatisfied when they realised it complicates travelling. It was simple to travel with a passport with an endorsement.

Travelling with a permanent residence certificate that could get lost? A whole different ballgame.

What do I need to be aware of?

You must take your permanent residence certificate whenever you travel outside of South Africa.

What if I currently have an endorsement (stamp or sticker) in my passport?

If you still have a permanent resident stamp or sticker in your passport, you can prepare for one of two scenarios at border control:

  • You may not be granted entry into South Africa as a permanent resident without presenting the permanent residence certificate to confirm your status; or
  • You get lucky and you’re let into South Africa without a hitch.

Our advice? Always carry your permanent residence certificate with you.

What else can I do, other than carry my South African permanent residence certificate?

It’s understandable that you do not want to carry your original permanent residence certificate with you at all times. Unfortunately if it gets lost, your certificate cannot be reissued. You can only apply for your status to be confirmed and this is generally a lengthy process.

The good news is that immigration officials have, to date, accepted certified copies of permanent residence certificates. You can use your South African ID to serve as further proof of your status, however, an ID alone is not sufficient.

Can Intergate Immigration help with ID book applications?

No, unfortunately we do not, as ID book applications must be made in person.

What if I have more questions?

If there is anything you’d like to clarify about travelling with your South African permanent residency certificate, please feel free to contact us on either +27 (0) 21 42 42460 or +27 (0) 11 234 4275. Alternatively, simply submit your details on our website and one of our consultants will contact you instead.

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