The British Consulate-General Cape Town represents the UK government in South Africa’s parliamentary capital, and the three Cape Provinces, and provides services to British nationals there.
We also provide services at British High Commission, Pretoria
Services for British nationals
If you’re in Cape Town, South Africa and you urgently need help (eg if you’ve been attacked, arrested or there has been a death), call +27 21 405 2400. If you’re in the UK and concerned about a British national in Cape Town, South Africa, call 020 7008 1500.
Get or renew a passport
The British consulate can’t help with passport enquiries. Contact Her Majesty’s Passport Office if you need help.
Get an emergency travel document
If you are due to travel in the next 24 hours, contact us as soon as possible.
- are over 16 years old and
- are a British citizen and
- have previously owned a British passport
- over 16 years old but have not owned a British passport before or
- not a British citizen or
- applying for a child under 16 years old
Once you have contacted us, you will be advised to make an appointment to apply for an emergency travel document at the British Consulate-General Cape Town.
For information and advice on travelling to South Africa, see travel advice for South Africa.
Get a visa
The British consulate can’t help with visa enquiries.
If you’re not a British national, you may need a visa to travel to the UK. Check if you need a UK visa.
If you’re a British national travelling abroad and need to apply for a visa to visit a particular country or check if you need a visa, see the entry requirements on our foreign travel advice for the country you want to visit.
For more information on visas, see UK visas and immigration.
Marriage and civil partnerships
For information on getting married in South Africa, see getting married abroad.
Register a birth or death
If the death occurred in South Africa and you’re still in the country, contact us. If you’re in the UK and hear of the death of a relative from a third party, you should contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1500.
Read our guidance on coping with death abroad.
Support if you’ve been arrested
We’ll do all we can to contact you within 24 hours of being told that you’ve been detained or arrested, and will give you a prisoner pack with information for British prisoners in South Africa. We cannot get you out of prison, prevent the local authorities from deporting you after your prison sentence, or interfere in criminal or civil court proceedings.
Notarial and documentary services
For legal reasons, we’re unable to carry out notarial acts in Commonwealth countries. This includes certifying documents as true copies of originals, administering oaths or taking affidavits. For these or other notarial acts, you should contact a local notary. A standard letter is available to confirm we do not offer these services in South Africa.
We offer a limited range of documentary services. See the list of documentary services we provide.
British Consulate-General Cape Town does not provide legalisation services.
Ask the UK government to get a UK document legalised (certified as genuine).
Local service providers
Use our lists of local suppliers and services if you need help in South Africa. Please note that inclusion in these lists does not constitute official endorsement by the British High Commission or the UK government.
How else we can help
In addition to the services listed above we can also:
- provide information about transferring funds
- provide appropriate help if you have suffered rape or serious assault, are a victim of other crime, or are in hospital
- help people with mental illness
- offer support and help in a range of other cases, such as child abductions, missing peopleand kidnapping
- contact family or friends for you if you want
- make special arrangements in cases of terrorism, civil disturbances or natural disasters or other crises abroad
For more information on the services we provide, see Support for British nationals abroad: A guide.
For general information on living in or planning to live in South Africa, see living in South Africa
What our consulate cannot do for you
Although we try to help British nationals in a wide range of situations, we cannot:
- help you enter a country, for example, if you don’t have a visa or your passport is not valid
- give you legal advice, investigate crimes or carry out searches for missing people, although we can give you details of people who may be able to help you in these cases, such as English-speaking lawyers.
- get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local people
- pay any bills or give you money (in very exceptional circumstances we may lend you some money from public funds, which you’ll have to pay back)
- make travel arrangements for you, or find you work or accommodation
- make business arrangements on your behalf
We charge fees for some of our services. See the full list of consular fees in South Africa
British Consulate General Cape Town
15th Floor, Norton Rose House, 8 Riebeek Street
Enquiries Telephone +27 21 405 2400
Enquiries Fax +27 21 405 2455