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Should I renew my passport?

Oslo, Norway
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Should I renew my passport?

My South African passport is almost full and I'm not sure if I need to renew it yet as it could take up to 6 months (yupp, you read that correct) to get a new one from the SA Embassy in Oslo. I have 3 single pages left and also the 2 pages in the middle of the passport which has the printed number on it (Not sure if this can be used). I have a residency card for Norway so I do not need a visa to travel around Europe but I do get stamped in my passport whenever I enter or leave a country. I'm travelling to Zanzibar in February next year and that's about 6 months away so not sure if I need to renew as soon as possible or stick it out until I return from Zanzibar next year.

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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1. Re: Should I renew my passport?

Contact nearest South African embassy or consulate and ask them. Generally if you need to enter a country using a passport, the passport will need to be valid for 6 months after entry. If it isnt and there arent special rules in place you may be denied entry, worse you may be denied exit from the country you are leaving because the airlines can be held accountable.

London, England
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for Solo Travel
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2. Re: Should I renew my passport?

I gather that you have at least a year left on your passport and the problem is whether you have enough space on the pages left combined with the inordinate time it takes for you to renew your passport.

One possible complication is whether you need two facing pages for the trip to Zanzibar. The rules may be different for a SA passport, but I have just checked my UK one and the Tanzanian visa is on one page with the stamps for arrival and departure to Tanzania on the facing page and arrival and departure stamps for Zanzibar on a third page.

You might want to check with the Tanzanian Embassy.

You may be cutting it a bit fine if you don't renew your passport and , if you can't use those centre pages, Norway would need to be content to share a page with another country's stamp.

In your place I would renew my passport, but I tend to be a bit cautious about such things. I got my Tanzanian visa in advance although I didn't need to, but the High Comission in London was easy to get to, it meant one less queue and no surprises. (I had a yellow fever jab for similar reasons. The rules vary and I did not want to run even a small risk of a jab at the Zanzibar airport)

BTW, If you can get to Mafia Island (just south of Zanzibar) it is even more special and Pole Pole is probably the nicest tropical holiday resort I have ever come across.

Edited: 13 August 2013, 17:20
3. Re: Should I renew my passport?

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