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Service Delivery Charter for the Consular Section at the South African
Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden
 
1. Who are we?

We are the Consular Section at the South African Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.

2. Where can we be found?

The South African Embassy is situated at Fleminggatan 20, 4th floor, 112 26 Stockholm, Sweden.

The Consular Section works in close collaboration with the Chief Directorate Consular and Agency Services at the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and other Government Departments not represented abroad. The services listed are often performed in conjunction with this Chief Directorate. The responsible consular official in Pretoria is Ms Karien van der Vyver and can be contacted at telephone number +27 12 351 1294.

Emergency consular services are available on a 24-hour basis. A consular official will be available to provide specialized guidance and assistance after hours and over weekends. Our after hour’s emergency telephone number is +46 708 56 75 35.

3. The services we provide:

We have two areas of specialization, namely:
  • Consular & Agency Services, including emergency consular assistance;

  • Immigration and Civic Services.
In brief, Consular and Agency Services describe the services and assistance the Embassy is able to provide for South African citizens abroad. Our services are available on weekdays, Monday – Friday (excluding Wednesdays’ and public holidays) during consular office hours 9:00 – 12:30. After hours services will only be rendered in the case of an emergency. Emergency consular services describe services rendered in the case of distress, serious illness or death of a South African citizen abroad, natural disasters and evacuation where South African citizens are involved. It excludes any enquiries of a general nature.

Immigration and Civic Services are services rendered on behalf of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and include all matters relating to births, deaths, marriages, passport applications, immigration and residency.

For an overview of the services provided by the Consular Section, the two areas of specialization will be discussed separately.

3.1 Consular and Agency Services:

3.1.1 We provide the following services:

3.1.1.1 Protection and Assistance to South African citizens abroad:

  • Respond to emergencies (all situations involving health, safety, security and wellbeing of South African citizens abroad). This includes providing a support service in hostage cases as well as assistance in evacuation planning of South African citizens abroad in cases of political turmoil or natural disasters);

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

  • Provide logistical support and non-financial assistance for repatriation and urgently needed medical or professional attention. Professional attention includes information regarding legal services available in the event of detention or threat of detention;

  • Notify the next of kin in the event of death: The consular official will immediately notify the consular officer at the Directorate: Consular and Agency Services who will notify the next of kin via the official channels;

  • Assist in the search for missing persons abroad and/or determination of the whereabouts of South African citizens abroad;

  • Assist South African citizens in distress by facilitating the payment of funds to these citizens deposited by family members or friends in South Africa. If family members are unable to assist, we provide assistance to apply for refundable, limited, financial assistance at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation;

  • Child Custody, including abductions and adoptions: 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;

  • Kidnapping and hostage taking covers forcible restrictions on the freedom of movement of all persons. All instances of kidnapping in the Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Latvia will be reported to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
    immediately. We provide guidance and advice to affected citizens and their families;

  • 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;

  • Provide invigilation services to foreigners and South African citizens to write exams with registered South African academic institutions (i.e. UNISA exams).

  • Encourage South African citizens residing in the Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Latvia to register via ROSA (Registration of South Africans Abroad) at www.dfa.gov.za/consular/index.htm.
3.1.1.2 Assistance to South African citizens in detention

Establish and maintain contact with arrested South African citizens abroad with due observance of the law and regulations of the arresting State. This service is rendered to ensure that South Africans who have been arrested, detained or imprisoned under foreign jurisdictions understand their rights and the services that can be provided by the South African Government. Prisoners are defined as persons who have been tried, convicted and sentenced. Depending on specific
circumstances, contact will be in person, in writing, by telephone or through appropriate intermediaries;
  • Endeavour to visit South African citizens in prison once every three months. However, distance, logistics and local circumstances will play a role;

  • Assist South African citizens in prison abroad by facilitating the payment of funds paid by family members or friends in South Africa;

  • Facilitate the delivery of letters and/or medication to South African prisoners abroad, sent by family and/or friends from South Africa, subject to the provisions and prevailing fees of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation as may be amended from time to time and also in compliance with the laws and regulations of the country of arrest/imprisonment.
3.1.1.3 Information – South Africa:
  • Provide information and advice to South Africans and foreigners on subjects regarding South Africa for which there are frequent requests. These subjects include but are not limited to customs regulations, civil aviation, taxation, pensions, social & legal services, travel, banking and education.

  • The information and advice will be of a general nature. This Embassy is not in a position to provide specialized advice. The information will often be in the form of directives for the enquirer to the relevant department or institution. No private company will be favoured.
3.1.1.4 Information – Local:
  • Provide information and advice to South African citizens on subjects regarding the Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Latvia for which there are frequent requests. These subjects include but are not limited to customs regulations, civil aviation, taxation, pensions, social and legal services, travel, banking and education.

  • The information and advice will be of a general nature. This office is not in a position to provide specialized advice. The information will often be in the form of directives for the enquirer to the relevant department or institution. No private company will be favoured.
3.1.1.5 Legal and Notary:
  • Upon instruction from the Department of Justice, this office formally transmits
    documents in private legal matters to the relevant authorities and/or individuals;

  • Act as a Commissioner of Oaths (South African documents only);

  • Legalization: We can authenticate the signatures of the authorized officials in the Foreign Ministries of the Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Latvia to validate documents for use in South Africa. We also submit applications and documentation for apostille certificates on South African documents to the Legalization Section at the Department of Ho Affairs in Pretoria;

  • Service of Process and Maintenance Orders: We facilitate the process via judicial channels to have documents served on defendants abroad;

  • Facilitate other legal processes via judicial channels when requested to do so by the authorized authorities. These processes include but are not limited to requests for extradition, rogatory letters, edictal citations and evidence on commission.
3.1.2 You will be able to make use of these services by:

Contacting our office via any of the following means:
  • In person during consular hours by appointment only;

  • By contacting our office at telephone No +46 8 24 39 50 or
    fax No +46 8 660 71 36;

  • By mail. The address to be used is South African Embassy, Fleminggatan 20 4th floor, 112 26 Stockholm, Sweden;

  • By e-mail at embassy.stockholm@dirco.gov.za

  • In the case of an emergency only, you can reach the Consular Section by dialling +46 708 56 75 35

3.1.3 Before requesting a service:

Each case determines the documents needed to enable this office to render assistance. A valid form of identification, i.e. identity document or passport, may be requested. When in doubt, you are advised to contact the office before requesting a service. It may save you time later. You can also visit our website at www.southafrica.se for more information.

 
IMPORTANT NOTE
We do NOT provide the following services
Issue travel documents in the absence of proof of citizenship, other supporting documents requested and payment of the prescribed fee.
Remove children without the assistance of the local authorities and without the authorization of the court.
Instigate court proceedings or obtain legal advice on behalf of South African citizens.
Intervene in local judicial procedures to get South African citizens out of prison, on bail or an early trial.
Pay any expenses on behalf of citizens from State funds, i.e. medical bills, hotel or legal fees, air tickets, transport, food, funerals, cremation or return of mortal remains.
Obtain accommodation or any permits (i.e. work permits, study permits, etc) on behalf of South African citizens.
Conduct investigations related to an offence.
Support a South African citizen financially whilst in prison.
Travel to dangerous areas to visit prisoners/detainees or provide consular support in such cases.
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.
Assist with the transfer of funds to a citizen who is not in distress.
 
3.2 Civic and Immigration Services

3.2.1 We provide the following services:

3.1.1.1 Civic Services:
  • Receive and process all applications for South African birth, marriage and death certificates;

  • Apply for Letters of No Impediment confirming the marital status of an individual on behalf of South African citizens;

  • Receive, process and issue South African emergency travel certificates or temporary passports;

  • Receive, process and forward applications for South African identity documents and passports to the Department of Home Affairs;

  • Receive and refer various Home Affairs applications, including applications for name change and determination of citizenship to the Department of Home Affairs.
3.2.1.2 Immigration:

Assist, facilitate and provide guidance on all matters pertaining to the amended South African Immigration Act 13 of 2002. At www.southafrica.se you can find a link to Department of Home Affiairs’ website. These matters include:
  • Temporary Residence Permit applications: These applications include, but are not limited to visa applications and work & study permit applications. These permits are processed by the Embassy, but may in some instances need to be referred to the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa for approval;

  • Applications for Permanent Residence: The Consulate receives process and refers all applications for Permanent Residence permits. This includes interviewing prospective immigrants. 3.1.2 You will be able to make use of these services by:
3.2.2 You will be able to make use of these services by:

Submitting the completed application form and all the supporting documentation to the Consular Section of this office by the following means:
  • In person, during consular hours only Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays 9:00 – 12:30;
3.2.3 Before requesting a service:
  • The applicable application form (can be obtained from our website at
    www.dirco.gov.za/sweden/);

  • Application forms and lists of supporting documents to be submitted can also be obtained from this office;

  • Depending on the type of service, supporting documents that may be required include, but are not limited to the applicant’s passport, fingerprints, passport size photographs, proof of provisional booking for return or onward flight and application fees.

  • The Consular Section reserves the right to request additional supporting documents on any application as may be deemed necessary.

4. Our service standards:

The Consular Section at the South African Embassy in Stockholm is committed to providing an effective and efficient service to all our customers throughout the world, irrespective of national origin, age, gender or religious orientation. Our commitment is to service that can be clearly determined and measured at all times in terms of sensitivity, empathy, courtesy, speed, accuracy and fairness.

We commit ourselves to the principles of service delivery (consultation, service standards, access, courtesy, information, openness & transparency, redress and value for money) and will indicate to you as our customers what you can expect from us with regard to service delivery standards.

The services listed in the Schedules are meant to be generic and the listing is not intended as a definitive itemization of the range of requests that consular staff are expected to respond to. The listings will be reviewed from time to time in order to keep it current with changing conditions. The reaction times provided in the minimum operational standards are targets based on best efforts and existing conditions. Our ability to meet the stated times in the Service Delivery
Standards are, in many instances, governed by factors that are beyond our control. Notwithstanding, we will make every effort to meet the stated standard. When it is not possible to do so, we will explain to our customers the reasons for not being able to meet the required standards.

It is very important to note that during times of emergencies and disasters these matters will receive preference. During such periods all other consular services rendered may be limited and the timeframes set out in the standards may not be met.

4.1 We have set the following minimum professional standards for the level and quality of services we provide:
  • Serve all customers in an unbiased, polite, helpful and impartial manner;

  • Dress appropriately and professionally, respecting our customers;

  • All members of the public are treated as customers who are entitled to receive high standards of service;

  • Are punctual in the execution of our duties and are committed to timely service;

  • Co-operate fully with other employees to advance the public interest. We share information, work as a team to maintain the standards and to achieve our objectives;

  • Execute all reasonable instructions by persons officially assigned to issue them;

  • Execute our duties in a professional, competent and accountable manner;

  • Honour the confidentiality of matters, documents and discussions;

  • Take responsibility for our own work and the work and workflow of the Embassy as a whole;

  • All services rendered shall be communicated to customers in English or the official language(s) of the Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Latvia. If a South African customer wishes to be served in any of the other official languages, every attempt will be made to find an employee in the Embassy to assist in customer’s language of choice;

  • All effort is made to avoid error. Accuracy of at least 90% is guaranteed;

  • The Consular Section is in continuous consultation with relevant role-players to ensure that information provided to the public is correct and up to date. Information provided by this section is reliable subject only to the accuracy and timeousness of data received from outside agencies;

  • In order to provide the best possible service to our customers, an employee deal with one customer /case/telephone enquiry at a time, giving the customer his/her full attention during this period;

  • Our consular hours are from 9:00 to 12:30, Mondays to Fridays (excluding Wednesdays and public holidays). These restricted hours do not apply to South Africans requiring emergency services. Members of the consular staff will respond to persons telephoning the emergency telephone number requesting emergency services, regardless of the time;

  • The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 includes corporate customers within its ambit. As such, South African corporate legal entities are entitled to consular services in the same manner as individuals, exclusive of intervention in commercial, civil or criminal disputes where recourse to recognized legal recourse is available.
 
4.2 We have set the following minimum operational standards for the level and quality of services we provide in terms of Consular and Agency Services:
 
SERVICE TIME
TIME
Consular Protection & Assistance:
Respond to emergencies
Immediately
Communications with family and/or friends in the event of an emergency
12 Hours
Assistance for repatriation, urgently required medical or professional attention
24 Hours
Notification of next of kin in the event of death (through Head Office)
Immediately
Notification of next of kin in the event of life-threatening illness or injury
Immediately
Assist in search for missing persons
12 Hours
Facilitating financial transfers and/or applications for financial assistance
24 Hours
Provide advice & guidance regarding child custody, abduction & adoption
24 Hours
Reporting of and providing guidance & support regarding kidnapping
Immediately
Reporting of and providing of assistance and support to defrauded citizens
12 Hours
Provide invigilation services for South African exams
As required
Maintain a register of South African citizens in the Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Latvia
Continuous
Prisoners:
Contact with prisoners (This service varies from country to country depending on needs and conditions)
Mission prescript
Facilitate the payment of funds paid by family/friends in South Africa
Mission prescript
Facilitate the delivery of letters and/or medication to prisoners
Mission prescript
Information (South Africa) –Requests for information & advice on:
Customs regulations
72 Hours
Civil aviation
72 Hours
Taxation
72 Hours
Pensions
72 Hours
Social and legal services
72 Hours
Travel
24 Hours
Banking
72 Hours
Education
72 Hours
Information (Local) –Requests for information & advice on:
Customs regulations
72 Hours
Civil aviation
72 Hours
Taxation
72 Hours
Pensions
72 Hours
Social and legal services
72 Hours
Travel
24 Hours
Banking
72 Hours
Education
72 Hours
Legal and Notary:
Transmit documents in private legal matters
72 Hours
Act as a Commissioner of Oaths
By appointment
Legalization: Authenticate signatures of Foreign Ministry officials
By appointment
Facilitate Services of Process and Maintenance Orders
72 Hours
Facilitate other legal processes
72 Hours
Ad hoc Consular Support Services
72 Hours
Time refers to initial response time during working days and may be subject to factors beyond our control. Each consular case develops according to its own dynamics and complexity. We facilitate the process but the exact timeframe for completing a case cannot be pre-determined.
 
4.3 We have set the following minimum operational standards for the level and quality of services we provide in terms of Civic and Immigration Services:
 
SERVICE TIME
Civic Services:  
Receive & process applications for birth, marriage and death certificates Apply for Letters of No Impediment
 
Receive, process and issue emergency passports
 
Receive, process and forward applications for Identity documents and passports
 
Refer other Home Affairs applications to the Department
 
Immigration:
 
Process applications for temporary residence permits
 
Process applications for permanent residence permits
 
 
Time refers to response time in working days and may be subject to factors beyond our control.

4.4. Our performance against our standards:

A record is kept of the number of documents and cases processed each day, the number of errors and complaints received. Corrective measures will be taken. A complaints/suggestion box has been placed at Reception. Alternatively the customer can contact the Corporate Service Manager at e-mail address embassy.stockholm@dirco.gov.za or telephonically at +46 8 24 39 50. We will respond to all complaints and suggestions received within one week of receipt thereof. We welcome comments and suggestions on our service and its quality.

In return we expect the public to be civil and courteous and to respect the dignity of our officials at all times.
HE. Ambassador Faith Doreen Radebe
Head of Mission
 
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