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Does a newborn need a visa if entering her parents' country or just a passport?

by Bianca
(South Africa)

Question: I'm a South African 17-year-old and have an American green card because I lived in the U.S. I'm pregnant and going to give birth in NJ with my family. I want my baby to be an American citizen. How long will my newborn's passport take to process? I want to go back to South Africa as soon as I get her passport. Does she need a visa to enter her parents' country (South Africa) or just the passport?

Answer: Your child will have dual citizenship at birth and, therefore, will not need a visa to enter South Africa. Your baby will need both a South African passport and an American passport.

You can obtain the South African passport through the representative of the South African government in the United States. Click the link below for more information.

Department of Home Affairs - Republic of South Africa

You can get the American passport quickly at the nearest regional agency or through a registered passport expediter. Usually, an original birth certificate is required. This can take up to 6 weeks to obtain. If you can prove that you need to travel in less than 30 days, you can present the hospital birth record instead of the birth certificate. For a more information, click the links below.

Passport for a Minor

New York Passport Agency

Registered Passport Expediter

Another option is to obtain the South African passport in order to depart the United States and return to South Africa. In South Africa, you could visit the Embassy of the United States in Pretoria or one of the consulates in Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg in order to get the passport for your baby.

U.S. Passports in South Africa

If you have been outside the United States for more than a year or you plan to return immediately for an extended period of time to South Africa after the birth, you should speak with a representative of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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