Emergency Travel Certificates

Processing time: 5 – 10 business days

Fee: C $11 (Effective from 01 NOV 2022)

Emergency Travel Certificates are issued to South Africans who has to travel back home (one way to South Africa) urgently for reasons of death, sickness or any other emergency.  It is in a 1 page form and is valid for 9 months from date of issue. It cannot be used to go to other countries except when transiting on your way to South Africa.

Emergency Travel Certificates cannot be issued to people aged 16 and older if they have never applied for ID book. Home Affairs will need to receive the ID Application first. We advise that both applications for Emergency Travel Certificate and first time ID be submitted by people under that category.

Kindly Note the following:

  • Applicants for Emergency Travel Certificates are now required to come collect their certificates from The South African Consulate General or the South African High Commission in person. This applies to all applicants aged 16 and older.
  • Applications and money orders can be mailed in to start the process to obtain approval from the Department of Home affairs. This takes about 10 business days.
  • Applicants will receive an email to inform them when to come to collect certificates after The Consulate or The High Commission has received the approval. The Consulate or the High Commission will administer final fingerprints required to authenticate the Travel Certificate.


  • Written motivation for the issuing of the Emergency Travel Certificate, along with any proof of the urgency of the trip (e.g. confirmation of funeral arrangements, doctor’s letter confirming sickness, police report, etc.)
  • BI 73 Passport Application form; with signature and left thumb print of people 16 years and older. Section B to be certified by an official who will take your left thumbprint. You have to sign section ‘signature of the applicant’ in the middle of the signature box if you are 16 and older. Page 2 is to be signed by ages 18+. Parents for 17 and below must sign page 2 including declaration. The address section is to be completed with your Canadian residential address and your telephone numbers.
  • BI 9 /DHA-9 FORM (COMPULSORY FOR ALL PEOPLE 16 YEARS AND OLDER) – Full set of fingerprints. This form must be submitted by applicants 16 years old and older. Complete in full and sign. Include email where possible. Fingerprints can be taken at the nearest police station, fingerprints taking centers or notary public office. Electronic fingerprints on police cards are not accepted. This form is not downloadable. Please send a self-addressed stamped envelope with a request for BI-9 to receive this form. Please note that BI-9 is A-4 (30x21cms) size form, which may not be folded. Your stamped envelope should be able to fit unfolded page.
  • BI 529, Determination of citizenship; Compulsory for all applications. When fully completed please ensure that your form is signed and dated. Page 1 is about the applicant and when they left South Africa. Question 9 is important and the reason why you left. Page 2 is about the applicant parents. Complete the information to the best of your ability even if parents are deceased. Don’t forget to sign and write your Canada residential address.
  • Divorce decree. To be submitted by divorced female applicants who wish to retain their maiden name. Those applicants who wish to change their surname to their new married surname should include a decree of divorce and their current marriage certificate;
  • Certified copy of marriage certificate. To be submitted by married women irrespective of whether they will or will not change their surname;
  • Certified copy of South African ID book and/or Birth Certificate;
  • Certified copy of Exemption Certificate in terms of section 6(2) of the South African Citizenship Act, 1995. To be submitted by applicants with dual citizenship or Notarized sworn affidavit stating that no other citizenship has been acquired;
  • Certified copy of Canadian Citizenship Certificate, PR card, study or work permit;
  • Notarized certificate of naturalization. To be submitted by applicants who are naturalized South Africans.
  • Two passport size photos with white background which must comply with the description below:
    • Two identical colour photos
    • Be taken with a white background
    • 35mm in width and 45mm in height also called immigration size in Canada
    • A close-up of your head and top of your shoulders so that your face takes up 70 – 80% of the photograph
    • Of high quality with no ink marks or creases and not damaged
    • Show you looking directly at the camera
    • Have appropriate brightness and contrast
    • Be printed on high-quality photo paper
    • Show your natural colour
    • Show your eyes open and clearly visible – no hair across your face
    • Show you facing square onto the camera, not looking over one shoulder (portrait style) or tilted
    • Show both edges of your face clearly
    • Be taken with uniform lighting and not show shadows or flash reflections on your face and no red-eye
    • Show you alone (no chair backs, toys or other people visible)
    • Please click here to read more about photo specifications

  • Certified copy of your current passport front page
  • Money order for CAN $ 11.00 made payable to the “South African Consulate General” in Toronto or to the “South African High Commission” in Ottawa. No cash; no personal cheques please.
  • In case of medical emergency we require a letter from the Medical Practitioner in South Africa.
  • Death emergency must be supported by Death Certificate from Home Affairs
  • Please ensure that you submit two sets of the application: (a) the original application forms with supporting documents, and (b) a copy of the complete set.

All forms to be completed in BLACK ink.

Do NOT to write “N/A” or draw lines through the form if the question does not apply, leave blank space.

Do NOT use wite-out.