Holders of permanent residence permits will be required to secure a new form of identity document. The Department of Home Affairs launched the new Smart Identity Document (ID) cards on July 18. The card’s security features include holograms, laser engraving and a chip containing fingerprint and other biometric data. All new features are designed to prevent forging and tampering.

South African citizens and permanent residents will be asked to register for the new cards systematically, beginning with citizens age 80 and older. It has not yet been announced when foreigners with permanent resident status will be asked to apply for the cards. The Smart ID cards are scheduled to be issued to every citizen within the next eight years, replacing the green ID booklet. The new cards will take three days to process.

The Smart ID cards do not impact work permit holders, who will not be required to obtain them.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in South Africa. For additional information, please contact GlobalVisaGroup@bal.com.

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