Apply for a British Passport from South Africa | Essential Guide

Apply for a British passport from South Africa

With its British roots, South Africa has strong ties to the UK and many South Africans have discovered that they qualify for British citizenship.

Having a British passport allows you to work, live and travel freely within the UK, not to mention the fact that it can open doors and make other international travel much easier.

A South African passport makes travel throughout the African continent easy and painless, but if you want to travel to countries in Europe, the Americas or Asia, a UK passport comes in very handy.

So, how do you know if you qualify for a British passport and how can one go about applying for a British passport from South Africa?

MyBritishPassport specializes in assisting eligible South Africans in applying for British passports for the first time.

We understand exactly what is required when applying for your passport and can advise you if you qualify.

Below is a useful guide for everything you need to know about applying for a UK passport for the first time from South Africa.

a) Can a South African get a British passport?

The UK government allows its citizens to have two or more passports. This means that you could keep your South African passport, as well as hold a British one.

Conversely, the South African government also allows its citizens to hold dual (or more) nationality so you will not have to give up your South African nationality.

Having dual nationality is a great idea, especially if you plan on traveling or working abroad. Very often, visas are not required if you have a British passport and this can save you much time, hassle and money.

b) Do I qualify for a British passport?

Generally speaking, if one or both of your parents were born in the United Kingdom, you probably qualify for a UK passport.

This will depend upon exactly when your parents (and you) were born, but if you have a British-born parent, it is definitely worth investigating your eligibility for citizenship.

If you were born in the UK but do not currently live there, you may also be eligible for British citizenship.

Eligibility for a British passport is not always cut and dry, and it is therefore advisable to consult with an expert to ascertain if your unique situation makes you qualify for a UK passport.

At MyBritishPassport, our team of specialists is well-versed in the rules around UK passport eligibility and we can advise you if it is worth applying for a British passport for the first time. 

If you would like to apply for a first-time British passport from South Africa and need some guidance, feel free to contact us here and we will be in touch shortly.

c) What documents do I need to apply for my British passport?

First and foremost, it is important to note that first-time British passport applications are done exclusively online (even if you are applying from South Africa).

In addition, you will need to have passport photos taken and will need to submit these electronically, as well.

Applying for a UK passport is actually more difficult than it appears: your forms must be completely accurate and your digital photos must comply with the standards, as laid out on the government website.

Any mistakes or oversights may result in your application being rejected and you will need to start the entire process over again.

MyBritishPassport adds a lot of value in that we ensure that your forms are accurate and have been fully completed. We also make sure that your passport photos comply with Her Majesty’s Passport Office’s standards so that your application can be processed as quickly and as efficiently as possible. 

If you have any questions on the passport application process, feel free to contact us here.

d) How long does it take for a first-time British passport to be processed from South Africa?

Fortunately, applying for a first-time UK passport from South Africa does not take that much longer than if you were based in the UK.

The only delay is the couriering process of your passport from the UK to South Africa and MyBritishPassport recommends allowing an additional week.

The vast majority of MyBritishPassport clients receive their British passports in South Africa within approximately 4 to 6 weeks from the date they first submitted their application.

Of course, this timeframe is always subject to change at any time and we therefore do not recommend making travel arrangements while you have an active passport application in process.

The current Covid-19 pandemic has meant that all passport applications and renewals have slowed down somewhat.

Once your first-time passport has been approved by the passport office, it will be sent to you via DHL.

Here at MyBritishPassport, we specialise in assisting UK nationals living in South Africa with a wide variety of services, including British passport renewals, first-time passport applications and certificate applications from South Africa.

For more information on how we can assist you, send us a message below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.


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