Tuesday, 18 November 2014

How to Renew Your South African Passport in Israel

If you are from South Africa and have made Aliyah and now living in Israel, you are going to have to renew your South African passport at some time during your stay. You do not need to return to South Africa to renew the passport, and can easily do so in Israel itself. The South African Embassy can be found on the 17th floor of the Sason Hogi Tower located at 12 Abba Hillel Silver Street, Ramat Gan

They can easily be contacted by calling them at (03) 525-2566. Renewing your passport is easy. Follow the important steps below and be well prepared. Please note, as with all other posts on this blog, the final responsibility of checking out all matters rests upon the reader. It is always imperative to check with the authorities themselves what their current criteria are and steps that need to be followed. We provide an outline that is aimed at assisting you to make renewing your passport an easy experience and hope you will gain from it.

Here's some important info:

  1. Get ready to renew your passport about 6 months before it expires!
  2. Make sure to get 4 colour passport photos taken of yourself. You may not smile (sorry!)
  3. Call the embassy to check they are open and their times. (Usually Monday-Thursday 9:00-11:00am)
  4. If travelling from Jerusalem, the 480 bus will take you to the Arlozorof train station in Tel Aviv 
  5. The bus leaves every 10 minutes - so if you miss one - there will be another in just a few minutes!
  6. The journey takes almost an hour (so make sure you get your timing right and don't be late!)
  7. When you arrive at the Tel Aviv station, you can get a taxi to drive you to the main building (see image below) - roughly a 5 minute ride away or you can even walk. If you choose to walk - give yourself at least 20 minutes for the walk. The building is literally around the corner (according to all who you will ask) but in order to actually get there, you must walk all the way around and over the bridge above the railway. Give yourself 30 minutes for the walk - and you will be able to enjoy the scenery and get some exercise too!
  8. You may need between 20-30 minutes to fill out the forms - so factor this into your time schedule
  9. You'll need ₪200 (cash only) for the passport and add another ₪20 if you prefer they send the passport in the post
  10. They'll be taking your fingerprints too
  11. Your passport will be mailed to you (if you've selected this option) and can take as long as 6 months to prepare
  12. If you are married - bring along your original marriage certificate
  13. If you were naturalised in SA, you'll need your naturalisation certificate as well.
It's actually quite easy to do - and notwithstanding the length of time in travel and walking etc. the actual process is certainly doable and there is no delay of long lines of dozens of people waiting before you. The staff at the South African Embassy are friendly, polite and pleasant to work with. They are patient and helpful, so if you have a question, ask them. 

Are you new in Israel from South Africa (or elsewhere) and wondering how to get around, what you need to do and how to do it with information that will help you get the job done in as little time as possible with the least bit of aggravation? If you're looking for a team of dedicated people to assist you settle - to help you feel welcome in Israel, contact us today to discuss your needs, your concerns, your worries and your interests. We'll help you navigate your way, sharing the realities of living in Israel - and how you can make a success of your Aliyah.

Pictured above: The huge building  in the center is Bank Mizrachi Tefichot in Ramat Gan
It stands directly opposite the Sason Hogi Tower (left of image)
This picture was taken standing at the Tel Aviv bus station.
As can be seen it is not very far - but it is indeed a little walk to get there!

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