The British High Commission in South Africa is responsible for developing and maintaining relations between the UK and South Africa. The High Commission Pretoria also covers Lesotho and Swaziland.

We also provide services at British Consulate-General Cape Town

Check our opening hours

Services for British nationals

Urgent assistance

If you’re in South Africa and you urgently need consular assistance (eg if you’ve been attacked, arrested or there has been a death), call +27 12 421 7500. If you’re in the UK and concerned about a British national in South Africa, contact us on 020 7008 1500.

Get a visa

The British high Commission 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.

Get or renew a passport

The British High Commission can’t help with passport enquiries. Contact Her Majesty’s Passport Office if you need help.

If you can’t get a new or replacement passport in time to travel, you may be able to get an emergency travel document

Get an emergency travel document

You can apply for an emergency travel document (ETD) if you’re abroad and your passport has been lost or stolen, damaged or expired, and you can’t get a new or replacement passport in time to travel.

If you’re due to travel in the next 24 hours, contact us as soon as possible. Call us before making an appointment if you’ve never applied for a British passport before or if you’re applying for a child under the age of 16.

Book an appointment for an emergency travel document in British High Commission, Pretoria

Book an appointment for an emergency travel document in British Consulate-General Cape Town

For information and advice on travelling to South Africa, see travel advice for South Africa.

Marriage and civil partnerships

We can issue certificates of no impediment, affirmations or affidavits of marital status. For information on getting married in South Africa, see getting married abroad.

Register a birth or death

Find out how to register a birth or register a death that occurred in South Africa. You can’t register a birth or death at the High Commission.

Bereavement support

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.

Legalisation services

British High Commission Pretoria 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.

For general information on living in or planning to live in South Africa, see living in South Africa

Services in Lesotho

Translators/Interpreters

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 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 Lesotho. 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.

Services in Swaziland

Translators/Interpreters

Swaziland is an English speaking country we do not have a list of translators and interpreters.

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 can 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 the High Commission 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

Consular fees

We charge fees for some of our services. See the full list of consular fees in South Africa

Our people

Dame Judith Macgregor DCMG, LVO

Dame Judith Macgregor DCMG, LVO

British High Commissioner to South Africa

  • Peter Boxer

    British Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa

Contact us

British High Commission, Pretoria

British High Commission
255 Hill Street
Arcadia

Pretoria
Gauteng
0028
South Africa

Contact us:
www.gov.uk/guidance/consular-enquiries-for-south-africa

Access and opening times