New changes planned for applying and obtaining official documents at Home Affairs are expected to make things extremely difficult for locals as waiting time will increase significantly.

Much speculation is still involved regarding the new process, expected to launch at home affairs in mid 2020. Locals are being urged to get their documents before the changes take place to avoid excessive waiting times.

These changes are said to go hand in hand with the Department of Home Affairs plans to update the systems and modernise programmes.

Currently, many locals use third-party document agencies to apply and obtain official documents as this is the fastest and most convenient way. In this way, documents can be obtained while abroad and in a fairly short period of time.

The new processes plan threaten to bring an end to this convenient option. It may also require all applicants to apply for these documents in person in order to obtain their biometrics.

This means locals may need to get used to heading to Home Affairs offices to obtain these documents in person. Along with this, collections will only be allowed if it is the applicant themselves picking up the documents. Locals will need to pay a minimum of two trips to Home Affairs and processing delays are expected to become excessive.

This will pose even bigger problems for South African expats and those travelling abroad.

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