English |  
SA Relations with UAE
Downloadable Forms
Trade and Industry
 
 

Mandela Day
 

Trade and Investment South Africa (TISA)
 

Market Theatre
CONSULAR SERVICES

The Consular Section contact details are as follow:
 
Address : Corner Airport Road
25th Street
Mushref
 
Tel : +971 (02) 447 3446
+971 (02) 447 3031
Fax   : +971 (04) 397-9602
Emergency contact number  : +971 (050) 622 4291/ 050 4459 499
  • Normal consular services:
Available weekdays, Sunday to Thursday (excluding public holidays)  08:30 to 12:30.
  • Commissioner of Oath:
Available by appointment on a Monday and Thursday 08:30 to 12:30. 
Please phone ahead to secure an appointment.
  • During the Holy month of Ramadan:
Available weekdays, Sunday to Thursday 09:15 to 12:00.
The Consular Section works in close collaboration with the Chief Directorate: Consular Services at the Department of International Relations & Cooperation (DIRCO) in Pretoria and other Government Departments not represented abroad.

WHAT SERVICES DO CONSULAR OFFICERS RENDER TO SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS?
  • We respond to emergency situations involving health, safety, security and well being of South Africans abroad.  This includes providing a support service as well as assistance in evacuation planning of South African citizens abroad in cases of political turmoil or natural disaster.  Please note that we are not responsible for the actual evacuation process.

  • In the event of an emergency, we communicate on behalf of the family and/or friends in South Africa of South African citizens abroad and vice versa.

  • The Consular Section may assists South African citizens in distress by facilitating the payment of funds deposited by family/friends in South Africa to the South African citizen in distress.  It is a limited amount that can be processed in this manner

  • We provide logistical support and non-financial assistance for repatriation and urgently needed medical and professional attention.

  • We will attempt to notify the next-of-kin, via the Chief Directorate: Consular Services at the Department of International Relations & Cooperation (DIRCO) in Pretoria, in the event of death or life threatening illness or injury.

  • We provide logistical assistance with the importation of mortal remains (including import permit applications) or burials of South African citizens abroad.  We MAY NOT provide any financial assistance in this regard.
  • We strive to assist with missing persons abroad and/or determination of the whereabouts of a South African citizen. 
  • Assist South African citizen in distress.
  • Child custody, including abductions. We provide advice, guidance and support to a custodial parent/guardian. Where there is evidence that the health and safety of the child is in jeopardy, the matter is treated as an emergency.

  • Provide guidance and advice through the Department of Social Development with adoptions.

  • Support service in kidnapping and hostage taking cases. We respond to emergencies (all situations involving health, safety, security and wellbeing of South African citizens abroad). Kidnapping and hostage taking covers forcible restrictions on the freedom of movement of all persons. All instances of kidnapping in the United Arab Emirates will be reported to DIRCO’s Operations Room immediately. We provide guidance and advice to affected citizens and their families.
  • Reporting of scams and of fraudulent activities. We provide non-financial assistance and support to defrauded South African citizens and we report scams and other fraudulent activities to the South African Police Service
 
WHAT SERVICES DO CONSULAR OFFICERS NOT RENDER TO SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS?
  • Secure a release from prison or interfere in local judicial procedures to get South African citizens out of prison, on bail or an early trial.

  • Intervene in court proceedings in foreign countries.

  • Instigate court proceedings or obtain legal advice on behalf of South African citizens.

  • Give legal advice.

  • Support a South African citizen financially while in prison.

  • Travel to dangerous areas to visit prisoners/detainees or provide consular support in such cases.

  • Investigate crimes or deaths.

  • Pay for cremations, burials or the repatriation of mortal remains to South Africa.

  • Take possession of an abducted child.

  • Remove children without the assistance of the local authorities and without the authorization of the court.

  • Enforce a South African custody agreement abroad or compel a country to decide a custody case.

  • Pay any expenses on behalf of citizens from state funds i.e. medical bills, hotel, legal fees, air tickets, transport, food or any other bills.

  • Pay traveling expenses.

  • Assist with the transfer of funds to a citizen who is not in detention.

  • Obtain accommodation or any permits (work permits, study permits etc) on behalf of South African citizens.

  • Undertake work done by travel agents, airlines, banks etc.

  • Conduct a search without the assistance of local authorities or provide information regarding the whereabouts of a South African citizen without the express consent of that citizen.

  • Obtain a criminal record check on your behalf.

  • Store personal effects or search for lost items.

  • Accept personal mail.

  • Formally assist dual nationals in the country of their second nationality.

  • Get involved with any civil disputes.
ASSISTANCE TO NEXT-OF-KIN IN THE EVENT OF THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE ABROAD

The death of a family member or friend is a traumatic experience, even more so when it happens abroad, the South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi endeavors to assist in these difficult times.

The assistance that Missions are able to provide is as follows:
  • In the absence of any family abroad, the Mission will immediately inform the Consular Official at the Consular Section of DIRCO in Pretoria who will notify the next-of-kin via the official channels.
  • Assist to obtaining an import permit from the Department of Health in South Africa.

  • Assist the family to get in touch with reputable undertakers who will be able to give an indication of the costs to be incurred should the family wish to repatriate the mortal remains.

  • Cancellation of passport of the deceased.
Though we sympathize with the predicament family members may face regarding the costs involved for the importation the mortal remains or the exhumation of their loved ones, neither the Mission, DIRCO nor the Government of South Africa is in a position to render financial assistance in this regard.

It is strongly advised that the next-of-kin inform the funeral undertaker in writing of their choice to either import the mortal remains back to South Africa (transportation, funeral parlor fees etc) or it they would prefer cremation. 

Arrangements for the importation of mortal remains (mode of transport etc) should, where possible, be dealt with directly between the funeral parlor and the family concerned.
The financial undertaking of either process must also be agreed on between the next-of-kin and the undertaker.  

Family members should take note that the financial transaction to assist with the dealing of the mortal remains cannot be done via DIRCO and/or Home Affairs.

In those cases where the family decides on cremation, the Mission can assist with the following:
  • Obtain the indicative cost in respect of the cremation as well as the transportation of the ashes if it will be returned to South Africa.

  • Obtain the documentation needed for the release of the body for cremation purposes, this can only be done once the Mission has a signed letter from the next-of-kin requesting the cremation.

  • Cancellation of the original passport of the deceased.
Please take note: An import permit is not required for the return of ashes to South Africa.

Herewith please find the procedures pertaining to the importation of mortal remains:


Importation / Exportation of mortal remains (non-infectious):

The following documentation will be requested before any importation / exportation permits can be obtained:
  • Covering letter from the Embassy, this must include: Name of deceased; date of death; country of death; cause of death; place of burial; and telephone and fax numbers with relevant area codes.

  • Passport of the deceased - to be cancelled by the South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi - Consular Section.

  • Death certificate.

  • Police clearance certificate.

  • Letter from attending pathologist or medical doctor stating that the person did not suffer from a contagious/infectious disease at time of death.

  • Embalming certificate.

  • Letter from the family member requesting the exportation/importation of the mortal remains.

  • If documents are not in English, a certified/legal translation must be sent through with the documentation.
Permission will be granted for the importation / exportation of the remains on condition that:
  • The body is embalmed.

  • The body must be sealed in an airtight container and placed in a sturdy non-transparent coffin.

  • An import permit must be obtained from the receiving health authority.
Importation / Exportation of mortal remains (infectious):

The following documentation will be required before any importation / exportation permits can be obtained:
  • Covering letter from the Embassy, this must include: Name of deceased; date of death; country of death; cause of death; place of burial; and telephone and fax numbers with relevant area codes.

  • Passport of the deceased - to be cancelled by the South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi- Consular Section.

  • Death certificate.

  • Police clearance certificate.

  • Letter from attending pathologist or medical practitioner stating that transportation will not constitute a health risk.

  • Embalming certificate

  • Letter from the family member requesting the exportation/importation of the mortal remains.

  • If documents are not in English, a certified/legal translation must be sent through with the documentation.
Permission will be granted for the exportation / importation of the remains on condition that:
  • The body must be placed in a polythene bag.

  • The body must then be placed in another polythene bag.

  • The body must then be sealed in an airtight container and placed in a sturdy non-transparent coffin.

  • Under no circumstances may this coffin be opened.

  • A written statement from a medical practitioner that the body will not constitute a danger to public health and that the body is screened off according to regulation number R2438 of 30 October 1987, par 9 & 10 (Conveyance of bodies of persons who have died of communicable diseases) must be obtained.

  • This statement and the death certificate must accompany the body at all times.

  • An import permit must be obtained from the receiving health authority
 
ADVICE TO SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS IN THE EVENT A SOUTH AFRICAN IS ARRESTED OR JAILED ABROAD

What to do when a South African citizen is arrested/detained abroad:

Contact your nearest South African Representative - either the South African

Embassy in Abu Dhabi or the Consular Section of the DIRCO in Pretoria.

Introduction:

Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963), which is the generally accepted standard for all countries, persons who have been arrested outside their own country must have access to their consular representative.

South Africans in this situation must immediately request the authorities to allow them to contact the South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Alternatively, somebody can contact the Mission or the Department of International Relations & Cooperation (DIRCO) - Consular Services in Pretoria on their behalf.

Consular Officers seek to ensure that South African citizens arrested abroad are treated humanely while incarcerated. In this regard issues such as torture, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment will be reported and taken up with the local authorities.

The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners is used as a guide.

What Consular Officers CAN DO for South Africans detained/arrested abroad:
  • Establish contact with the detainee as soon as possible after verifying South African citizenship. (This service is rendered to ensure that South Africans who have been arrested, detained or imprisoned under foreign jurisdiction understand their rights and the services that can be provided by the South African Government. Depending on specific circumstances, contact can be in person, in writing, by telephone or through appropriate intermediaries);

  • Provide general information about the legal system of the country of arrest. Information may include details on legal aid (if available) and prosecution, a list of lawyers (no recommendations may be made for a specific lawyer) remand, bail and appeal procedures so that he/she understands his/her rights and the processes involved;

  • Maintain contact with the arrested South African citizens abroad with due observance of the laws and regulations of the arresting State.

  • Undertake prison visits. The frequency of prison visits depends on current policy, the location, culture and laws of the arresting State as well as the prevailing security situation in the country and/or the prison;

  • Contact the family or friends only if so requested in writing. No contact will be established or information provided to anyone not agreed to in writing by the South African citizen in detention/prison;
  • Facilitate the transfer of funds from family/friends in South Africa to the detainee/prisoner, with due observance of the law and regulations of the South African Government and the arresting State. The prevailing authorization determines that the amount that may be transferred from South Africa for toiletries, food and personal items (not legal fees) may not exceed R2,000-00 (two thousand Rand) per month. The amount will not be carried over to the next month;
  • Ensure that medical problems are brought to the attention of the prison authorities;

  • Arrange that monies deposited by the detainee/prisoner's family or others reach him/her. The time period for the transfer of funds will vary depending on local circumstances;

  • Facilitate the sending and delivery of letters, medication and study material (after sentencing) from family and/or friends in South Africa. This facility is subject to the provisions and prevailing fees of DIRCO as amended from time to time and in compliance with the laws and regulations of the country of arrest/imprisonment. All postage fees will be for the cost of the sender. Family and friends must provide South African stamps to the detainee/prisoner. A valid original doctor's prescription in the name of the recipient and the original pharmacist's proof of purchase must accompany all medication. DIRCO - Consular Services reserves the right to contact the doctor/dispensing pharmacist to verify the consignment. The time period for the sending/delivery of letters and/or medication to a detainee will vary according to the schedule of the diplomatic freight bag and local circumstances. All other items such as books, magazines, clothing, food and toiletries must be forwarded directly to the South African citizen. It is important to check with the prison authorities the kind of items allowed and how best to send them. The South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi can assist with information;

  • Upon release and impending return to South Africa, family or friends (in South Africa) may deposit fees at the Department of Home Affairs to pay for the ticket. The South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi - Consular Services Section will arrange the purchase of the ticket once proof is received that the money was deposited.
Note: The South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi, as well as DIRCOin Pretoria make every effort to ensure that monies, letters, study material and medication are forwarded without undue delay. However, the operational priorities of the Embassy take precedence. Local circumstances in the country also play a role.

What the Consular Officers CANNOT DO for South Africans detained/arrested abroad
:
  • Instigate or intervene in court proceedings or judicial processes;

  • Obtain or give legal advice;

  • Organize a release from prison or bail. The Government of South Africa has not entered into prisoner exchange/transfer agreements with other countries;

  • Travel to dangerous areas or prisons for a prison visit;

  • Investigate a crime;

  • Obtain better treatment in prison than that provided for local nationals;

  • Instruct next-of-kin or friends to transfer money;

  • Pay legal, medical or any other bills;

  • Obtain accommodation, work, visas or residence permits;

  • Undertake work done by travel agents, airlines, banks or car rental companies;

  • Formally assist dual nationals in the country of their second nationality; and/or

  • In the unfortunate event of death, pay for the preparation, transport, burial or cremation of the mortal remains of a South African citizen.
Should you require legal assistance in the U.A.E, we suggest that you contact the Law Society of South Africa who may be able to recommend lawyers in the U.A.E who have an association with South African law firms. The contact details of the Law Society of South Africa are:

National Society

Regional Society

Law Society of South Africa
304 Brooks Street
Menlo Park

PO Box 36626
Menlo Park
0102

Tel: +27 12 362-1729
Fax: +27 12 362-0969
Website: www.lssa.org.za
Email: kris@lssa.org.za

Law Society Of the Northern Provinces
123 Paul Kruger Street
Pretoria

PO Box 1493
Pretoria
0001

Tel: +27 12 338-5800
Fax: +27 12 326-2076

Email: info@northernlaw.co.za

Dual nationals:

Dual nationals arrested/detained in the country of their other nationality will not receive assistance from South African Representatives. If dual nationals are arrested/detained in another country, of which they are not a national, and they did not travel on their South African passport but on the passport of their second nationality, the dual national must contact the consular representative of the country on whose passport they traveled.

LEGALIZATION OF DOCUMENTATION
  • Certificate of authentication:

  • The Consular Section at the SA Embassy in Abu Dhabi may only authenticate the signatures of the authorized officials in the Foreign Ministries of the United Arab Emirates to validate documents for use in South Africa.

  • Documents submitted can be collected the next working day, during Consular Hours.

  • This service is free of charge.

  • This service only applies to documents issued in the UAE to be legally used back in South Africa.
  • Attestation Services – SA documents to be used abroad:

  • The Consular Section at DIRCO in South Africa can authenticate the signatures of the authorized officials when an original South African issued documents are presented to them. 

    The steps to follow for proper/complete attestation is as follow:
STEP 1: Present original South African documents at DIRCO in Pretoria

STEP 2: DIRCO will verify and attach a certificate of authenticity to the original document

STEP 3: Applicant must take the authenticated document to the UAE Embassy in Pretoria for verification and for UAE stamps to be affixed.

STEP 4: Documents are good to be used in the UAE.  Applicant may wish to present copies of complete attested document to the SA Consulate to certify it as true copy.
  • Attestation should be done for ALL original South African documents pertaining to qualifications, birth & marriage certificates etc.  This should all be done prior to leaving South Africa as this service is unfortunately not available through the SA Embassy’s office.
 Certification of copies:
  • Only original South African documents may be presented at the SA Embassy to be certified.
Requirements:
  • The original South African issued document together with the copies must be presented to the Commissioner of Oath.
  • The Commissioner of Oath will stamp and certify the copies as a “true copy of the original” only.
  • Same day service available.
  • Certification is free of charge.
Please take note that the Mission may not stamp / sign on an original document.  This needs to be done via the attestation process back inside South Africa.
  • Signing documents in front of the Commissioner of Oath:

  • Only South African documents can be witnessed and signed by the Commissioner of Oath

  • The service is available on Mondays and Thursday, by appointment only. (Please contact the Consulate on (02) 4473 446 to make an appointment)
Requirements:
  • Documents to be signed must be presented in person to the Commissioner of Oath.

  • Please do not sign at home, as it is a requirement that the documents be signed in the presence of the Commissioner of Oaths.

  • NB: Bring along your original passport and/or identity document for identification purposes.

  • Same day service available.

  • This service is free of charge.
SERVICE OF PROCESS
  • Legal matters:

  • Facilitate the serving of legal documents on defendants abroad via the Department of Justice.

  • Facilitate other legal processes or requests for extradition (criminal cases), rogatory letters, edictal citations (civil cases) and evidence on commission via the Department of Justice.

  • Provide non-financial assistance to victims of crime.

  • Provide advice, guidance and support to the custodial parent/guardian in collaboration with the Office of the Family Advocate in cases on abduction of South African children to foreign countries. Where there is evidence that the health and safety of the child is in jeopardy the matter is treated as an emergency.

  • Provide a list of local lawyers.
POLICE CLEARANCE CERTIFICATES

The South African Embassy will only take the fingerprints of the applicant. 

If applicants are non-South African, they must present proof of residing in South Africa for more than one year by means of a copy of work/study permit.

Applicants must forward the application form directly to the South African Police services – Criminal Records Centre in Pretoria.

The address is as follow:

SAPS Criminal Records Centre
1st Floor, Sanlam Plaza West
271 Schoeman Street
Pretoria
0001
GENERAL INFORMATION
  • South African Driver’s licenses

  • Renewal of driving license card for applicants who reside outside the borders of the Republic of South Africa:

  • The South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi can unfortunately not assist with the renewal or replacement of your RSA credit card format driving license.  The process requires the applicant to do an eye test and biometric verification, thus it can only be done back in South Africa directly at the Traffic Department, Driving License Testing Centers (DLTC).
From 1 March 1998, all drivers’ license holders were obliged to convert their identity document licenses to the Credit Card Format (CCF) license.
Your South African CCF driving license card is your valid proof that you have a South African driving      license. When your driving license card expires, it does not mean that your driving license has     expired. Only your valid proof of such a license has expired.
  • Applicants planning to visit South Africa are permitted to renew their licenses, however, should they not be in the country at the time of collection, they should nominate a relative or other person to collect the license on their behalf, by means of a power of attorney.
Applicants must follow the procedures and ensure that:
  • The Driving License Testing Centre (DLTC) should be notified by the applicant when he/she goes for the renewal of the card, of the person whom they have nominated to collect the license in accordance of their prescripts.
* The process to follow in the cases where a driving license card is lost or stolen is the same as for the renewal of a driving license card that is about to expire/has expired.

Queries regarding lost or stolen South African driver’s licenses can be addresses to:

Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC)

Postal Address: Private Bag X147, Pretoria, 0001
Physical Address: 687 Silverlakes Road, Hazeldean Office Park, Hazeldean, Tijger Vallei, Pretoria East

Tel
: +27 12 809-5200
Fax: +27 12 809-5330
Website: www.transport.gov.za

Attention:

Mr. T S Maupa

Tel: +27 12 809-5233
E-mail: tshwarelom@rtmc.co.za

Mr. David Motloung

Tel: +27 12 809-5232
E-mail: davidm@rtmc.co.za

Ms. Rhoda Pheeha

Tel: +27 12 809-5231
E-mail: rhodap@rtmc.co.za
  • Over 18 years of age who obtained their first time drivers licenses abroad:
According to the NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC ACT, ACT 93 of 1996 section 23, a driving license that was obtained in another country and/or international driving permit shall in respect of the class of motor vehicle to which that license or permit relates and subject to conditions thereof, be deemed to be a license for that purpose. 

The driving license that was obtained in another country can be used by the holder if it is valid.  The holder of such license does not have to exchange his/her driving license to a SA driving license if he/she is only on vacation or on a temporary visit to South Africa.

Subject to conditions the holder of a driving licenses and/or international driving permits not issued in terms of the National Road Traffic Act, Act 93 for 1996 can apply to have the driving license/permit exchanged ONLY if he/she is going to reside in South Africa on a permanent basis. 

Once the exchange took place the driving license that was issued by the foreign country then becomes invalid and the authorities will not hand back such license to the applicant.
  • Letter of Confirmation: Drivers License:
In March 1998, the Credit Card Format (CCF) driver’s licenses were introduced by the Department of Transport, which replaced the license printed or affixed to pages in Identity books.

The conversion period was 5 years with a penalty levied for late conversion.  It is not currently possible to apply for the CCF license from abroad, as the issuing of the CCF license is dependent on an eye test.  However, if the holder of a South African driver’s license can supply proof (passport) that he/she was abroad during the conversion period, the penalty may be waived at the discretion of the issuing authority.

Applications for driver’s licenses have to be done in person and Consular Officers should advise South Africans wishing to apply to contact the Department of Transport directly. 

In order to convert your South African (CCF) driver’s license to be able to apply for a foreign driver’s license abroad, the applicant should apply for a printout of the Confirmation Letter from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) prior to travelling.  This Confirmation Letter should then follow the attestation process, meaning it should be handed in at DIRCO in Pretoria to attach a certificate of authenticity to it and then it should be taken to the UAE Embassy for verification.

Some countries may not accept South African driver’s licenses as valid licenses and it may be prudent to apply for an international driver’s license from the Automobile Association prior to departing from South Africa.

The RTMC will upon written request issue a printout of the license required and supply a Letter of Confirmation of the license.  This letter reflects the date the license was first issued.  Your request must include your contact details (including fax number), a copy of your ID and a copy of your driver’s license.
The SA Embassy is no longer mandated to issue letters to RTA stating that an individual’s SA Drivers licenses credit card format is valid.  The individual must present copies of the Confirmation Letter from RTMC in South Africa together with copies of the actual drivers license which the Consular section will the certify as copies of the original.  This must then be presented to RTA.
H E Mr M K Lekgoro
Ambassador
 
More Information
Statistics South Africa
South Africa Reserve Bank
South African Revenue Services
Johannesburg Stock Exchange
Government Online
South African Airways
South African Tourism
National Parks of South Africa
Wines of South Africa
South Africa Broadcasting Corporation
Automobile Association of Africa
Encounter South Africa
Artscape
Trade and Investment of South Africa (TIISA)
© South African Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates | Disclaimer