New Requirements for Children Traveling to South Africa

The new South African Immigration Amendment Act that came into effect this past week has prompted much confusion, debate and concern. We would like to inform you that the initial date of implementation has been revised from 1 July 2014 to 1 October 2014.

Two key regulations are focused on a) children under the age of 18 travelling to or from South Africa and b) travellers who require visas to visit South Africa will now have to obtain a bio-metric visa in person.

With regards to the child regulations:

Every child entering into or departing from South Africa must have a fully unabridged (unedited/complete) birth certificate and a passport as minimum proof that the parents of that child have given their permission for that child to travel.

• Where a child is travelling with only one of the parents, then the parent travelling with that child has to produce:
a) a legally drafted and certified affidavit, signed by the other parent confirming their permission, plus a certified copy of the other parents’ valid passport or identity document,
b) or in the case of a widower, a certified copy of a death certificate and an unabridged birth certificate.

• Children travelling without their parents (i.e. with friends or grandparents) must have  unabridged birth certificates, certified copies of valid passports for both parents and a legally drafted letter of permission for the child to travel that has been signed by both parents and two witnesses. The affidavit must be witnessed by two independent witnesses, not related to or travelling with the child.

As of June 10, 2014 the South African Department of Home Affairs notes: “The Department of Home Affairs has provided a grace period to allow children to travel with parents or guardians without an unabridged birth certificate until end of September 2014. From 01 October 2014, the requirement for an unabridged birth certificate for children travelling with parents will come into effect for the safety of children, including their protection from child trafficking, abduction and kidnapping. The Department urges citizens and foreign nationals to heed the call to apply for unabridged birth certificates for children. An unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents is required in terms of the Immigration Regulation 6 (12) (a) for children travelling with parents.”

Airlines have been directed to deny boarding and Immigration to refuse entry or departure, if these requirements have not been met.

Stay well,

Ian Proctor
Ultimate Africa founder and president

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