Important: Applicants for biometric passport must ensure their photos meet the required standards. If photographs presented do not meet these requirements the application will be rejected.

Please follow these instructions carefully.

1. General requirements

Photos must:

    • be colour, recent and identical;
    • mesure 45mm by 35mm;
    • be printed on photo-quality paper without borders;

Only original photographs are acceptable. Copied or digitally scanned photos of photos will not be accepted. In addition, photos must not be digitally altered or retouched to alter the person's appearance in any way.

2. Face

    • eyes must be open and clearly visible, with no flash reflections and no red eye;
    • facial expression must be neutral (neither frowning nor smiling), with the mouth closed;
    • photos must reflect/represent natural skin color;


    • photos must show both edges of the face clearly;
    • photos must show a full front view of face and shoulders, squared to the camera;

the face and shoulder image must be centred in the photo, the subject must not be looking over one shoulder (portrait style), or tilting their head to one side or backwards or forwards; 

    • there must be no hair across the eyes;
    • hats or head coverings are not permitted except veil for women and the full facial features must be clearly visible;
    • photos with shadows on the face are unacceptable.

 3. Background

Photos must have a background which:

    • has no shadows;
    • has uniform lighting, with no shadows or flash reflection on the face and head;
    • shows a plain, uniform and white;
    • photos with dark, busy or patterned backgrounds will not be accepted.

4. Glasses

    • as the glasses can often show reflection or glare from flash and the frames can obscure facial features, for applicants who wear glasses it's best to remove them to ensure that the photos obtained meet the required standards;
    • photos with dark, tinted or mirrored glasses are not accepted.

Lost, stolen or damaged passport:

If a passport is lost, damaged or stolen, you must report it immediately at your local police station and to the Embassy, where you can apply for a new passport.

The replacement passport is issued after cancellation of the lost, damaged or stolen one.

In addition to the documents listed above, please provide:

  1. Affidavit of lost issued by your local police station;
  2. If the passport is lost or stolen, you must include in your application the declaration of loss or theft.
  3. Payment of additional fee of 400 Rand as a penalty (to be paid cash).;
  4. Letter explaining in detail how the passport has been damaged.


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