6 Unintended things about your passport that could see you booted back home

2015-10-22 11:02 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - Did you know there are some fussy rules and country-specific preferences when it comes to your Green Mamba? If ever there was one golden travel warning to observe, it would be don’t mess with the immigration officials. EVER! 

In some extreme cases these things can see you shipped back home, no questions allowed. Don't say we didn't warn you. 

UPDATE: DHA launches NEW passport application service at SA banks

1.         Condition

If your passport is damaged it is cause for suspicion. While most countries have upgraded the design of their passports to decrease passport fraud risk, anything that causes an immigration official to question the authenticity of your Green Mamba could see you hotfooting it back to good ol’ SA.                                                                                                   

2.  You DO NOT have the necessary visa

The most important thing to check with visa on arrival is whether there are any other key requirements in order to visit a specific destination. SA’s unabridged birth certificates would be an example of this. A yellow fever certificate for certain African countries would be another (It needs to be administered at least 10 days beforehand at a travel clinic, but is valid for 10 years) or whether there is a reciprocity fee that needs to be paid before you travel.  

DON'T MISS this MAP of hassle-free travel countries that offer South Africans visa on arrival

3. Blank pages

Frequent traveller alert – you need to have at least two completely blank pages in your passport, for some countries it’s as much as four. If your passport is still valid for a number of years but you’re running out of pages, you can apply for additional pages to be inserted, at a fee though.

4. Expiration date 

Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months after your required travel period. Schengen countries are particularly prickly about this.

5. Your passport photo

If your physical appearance has changed significantly, it could see you being refused entry. This does not refer to a new hairstyle, beard or aging but things to consider include significant facial surgery or trauma, facial piercings that dramatically change the way you look, dramatic weight loss as well as gender transition.

6. Your name

If your ticket name is different to your passport name this could be cause for concern. This would apply if your surname changed when you got married but your passport still has your maiden name. You would be required to show a copy of your marriage certificate. But even a simple misspelling of your name on your ticket could be reason for you to be denied access, so make sure it’s rectified before you travel.