Australian Embassy in South Africa
The Australian Embassy, located in Pretoria, South Africa, is generally to aid Australians that are in a foreign country. Some facilities and systems in South Africa may differ to those in Australia, and that is where the Australian Embassy comes in. It assists Australians and works across 24 time zones. The Australian Embassy in South Africa forms part of the Australian High Commission and Australian Trade Commission that operates from Johannesburg.
Although the Australian Embassy consular staff, will do everything within their power to help Australians that find themselves in trouble, they are limited in instances of death or a custody battle. The consular staff at the Australian Embassy are not permitted to use their power to influence local laws or procedures, and must work within the legal and administrative legislations that are implemented by the host countries. International rules govern the work done by consular staff, as set out in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relation. It is therefore extremely important to familiarise yourself with the limitations of the Embassy that located in the country you are visiting, and seek them out for information regarding the laws of the country.
The staff at the Australian Embassy in South Africa can assist with emergency passports, travel documents, provide assistance when an Australian was been in an accident, fallen ill or a death has occurred. If a financial emergency arises, the Embassy will assess the situation and assist by issuing small repayable loans, and ensure that during any legal proceeding, the Australian citizen receives the same treatment in regard to lawyers, prison visits and other legal arrangements as the South African citizen. Over and above these services, they can certify signatures, offer travel advice and listings of emergency services.
However, the Australian Embassy cannot arrange or change any travel arrangements or bookings, find or carry the cost of returning lost luggage, provide funds to pay for any legal costs, or represent you in any legal proceedings. Consular staff cannot get you out of jail or influence the justice system in any way. Investigative services, interpreters, telephone services, social security payments, visas and work permits cannot be obtained through the Australian Embassy. Nor are they able to perform marriage ceremonies.
South African citizens can apply for visas, work permits and residential permits through the Australian Embassy, in regard to traveling abroad. On the whole, the Australian Embassy lends assistance to citizens from both Australia and South Africa.