British High Commissioner to South Africa
We develop and maintain relations between the United Kingdom and South Africa. The High Commission Pretoria covers Lesotho and Swaziland.
We deal with a wide range of political, commercial, security and economic questions of interest to the UK and South Africa. The High Commission Pretoria and our consulate in Cape Town provide consular assistance to British nationals in South Africa.
This British High Commission Pretoria does not deal with visa matters. For information on whether you need a visa to travel to the United Kingdom and how to apply, please see the UK Visas & Immigration page.
Emergency travel documents
We may be able to provide an emergency travel document if you can’t get a new or replacement passport in time to travel. If you are due to travel in the next 24 hours, you should contact your nearest consulate as soon as possible.
For all other applications, please check what you must bring with you and then make an appointment at your nearest consulate using the links below. Please call your nearest consulate for advice before making an appointment if:
- you have never applied for a British passport before
- you are applying on behalf of a child
An emergency travel document does not guarantee entry to every country. Read what an emergency travel document does.
For information on how to apply for your first passport or renew an existing passport, please visit the overseas passport section of this website. Please note that our consulates cannot deal with individual enquiries about passport applications.
Information on staying safe and avoiding problems when traveling in South Africa, with links to our embassies, high commissions and other diplomatic posts across the world.
The British High Commission/Deputy High Commission can provide a limited range of document services for British nationals in South Africa. For legal reasons, we cannot provide notarial services, administer oaths or take affidavits in Commonwealth countries. You should contact a local notary. A standard letter is available to confirm we do not offer these services in South Africa.
Information on the documents and letters provided at the high commission in South Africa.
Births, deaths and marriages
Information on how you can register a birth in South Africa or death which occurred overseas, and legal documents for couples marrying or entering into civil partnerships abroad.
For information about documents relating to marriage, such as affirmations or affidavits of marital status, see getting married abroad.
How to get official confirmation that your UK public documentation is genuine so it can be accepted by foreign authorities. The UK does not require any documents to be legalised for use within the UK.
How else we can help
In addition to the services listed above, for British nationals needing emergency consular assistance, we can:
- provide information about transferring funds
- help people with mental illness
- offer support and help in a range of other cases, such as child protection and abductions, kidnappings or someone who is missing abroad and how to make a missing persons report
- provide consular assistance to British nationals who are victims of rape or serious sexual assault or any other serious crime
- help in contacting your family or friends when you are not able to do yourself because you are ill, in hospital, have been arrested etc
- provide advice following the death of a British national in South Africa, where possible we will try to notify the next of kin
- make special arrangements in cases of terrorism, civil disturbances or natural disasters
- offer support and information when a British national is detained or arrested outside the UK
What consulates cannot do for you
Although we try to help British nationals in a wide range of situations, 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
- help you enter a country, for example, if you do not have a visa or your passport is not valid, as we cannot interfere in another country’s immigration policy or procedures
- 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
- get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local people
- pay any bills or give you money
- make travel arrangements for you, find you work, accommodation, or make business arrangements on your behalf
- get involved in private disputes over property, employment, commercial or other matters
- renew or replace a full British passport
Services provided elsewhere
Information for British nationals living in South Africa who need information about services that are not provided by our consulates, but that you may find useful in specific circumstances, including information on what to do if you want to leave South Africa and move to the UK.
We no longer witness life certificates for British nationals claiming a British pension abroad. Please refer to the list of people working in a recognised profession who can do this for you.
Services in South Africa
A list of English speaking lawyers in South Africa who may be able to help you with official transactions in South Africa. Please note that inclusion in this list does not constitute official endorsement by the British High Commission or the UK government.
A list of English speaking interpreters/translators who may be able to help you with official translations in South Africa. Please note that inclusion in this list does not constitute official endorsement by the British High Commission or the UK government.
A list of English Speaking Medical Facilitieswho may be able to help you in South Africa. Please note that inclusion in this list does not constitute official endorsement by the British High Commission or the UK government.
A list of English-speaking funeral directors who may be able to help you in South Africa. Please note that inclusion in this list does not constitute official endorsement by the British High Commission or the UK government.
Support and informationwhen a British national is detained or arrested in South Africa.
Services in Lesotho
Lesotho is an English speaking country we do not have a list of translators and interpreters
List of Medical Facilities
A list of English Speaking Medical Facilities who may be able to help you in Lesotho. Please note that inclusion in this list does not constitute official endorsement by the British High Commission or the UK government.
Support and information when a British national is detained or arrested in Lesotho.
Services in Swaziland
Swaziland is an English speaking country we do not have a list of translators and interpreters
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998. Such personal data may be disclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy / consulate by the relevant authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly the FCO and the British embassy / consulate will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. For all notarial and legalisation services it is the responsibility of the customer to ascertain the precise requirements of the person requesting the notarial or legalisation service and to satisfy themselves that the service provided by the embassy/consulate will be accepted.
British Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa
British High Commission, Pretoria
British High Commission
255 Hill Street
Telephone - General and Consular enquiries +27 12 421 7500
Fax - General enquiries +27 12 421 7599
Fax - Consular enquiries +27 86 535 5422
Telephone - Passport Enquiries +44 (0) 300 222 0000
Telephone - Visa enquiries from within South Africa +27 21 300 3758
Telephone - Visa enquiries from outside South Africa 00 44 1243 217 959
Fax - Visa enquiries +27 12 421 7888
VISA Enquiries: To speak to an adviser calls cost £1.37 per minute on top of the cost of the call. Payment will be required by credit or debit card. Acceptable cards are all forms of Visa Credit, Visa Debit, Mastercard Credit, Mastercard Debit and Maestro.