Let’s face it – we all hate going to Home Affairs, but sometimes it’s unavoidable and you have to face the dreaded trip. Here are some tips to bear in mind when planning your next visit to Home Affairs.
1. Don’t believe the times on the website
The time on their website is mostly not updated. The website can state that they open at 8am but some open at 7:30am. Be there early, if you have to go in the morning. In fact, camp out from 6am just to be sure.
Helpful tip: According one of their employees, the best times to visit are in the afternoons because it’s quieter. This applies specifically to the last hour before closing time.
2. Get a number
If you arrive and there’s a long queue, resist the initial urge to join said queue. Walk straight to the door and find the rather disinterested security guard who is handing out numbers. This is their way of shepherding the throngs of people into the office. If you don’t have a number, you can’t go in.
3. Bring a black pen, cash and comfy shoes
Make sure you have your own black pen. Ain’t nobody gonna share theirs with you. Bring cash, they don’t take cards. The new ID card, which is now your only option, costs about R140. Wear comfy shoes. If you land up in the queue outside, there are a very limited number of chairs, and it’s a free-for-all. There are no rules when it comes to those chairs.
4. Don’t bother getting your own photos ahead of time
It’s a waste of time and money. You have your photos done inside as part of the process.
Handy tip: Even though it’s been an early morning, slap on some make-up and comb your hair. That photo is going to be around for a long time.
5. Bring along some entertainment
A book, your phone, Sudoku. Try to fill this idle time with something constructive or at least entertaining. Chatting to the people around you helps. Eventually, it feels as if you’ve formed a tribe and you’ve all just survived a treacherous quest. Good times.
And lastly …
Give credit where credit is due …
Once you’re inside, the staff are friendly and helpful.
Also, exactly a week later, they send you an SMS to say when your document will be ready for collection.
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