From the 1st of June 2015, amendments to South Africa’s Immigration Act comes into effect and there will be strict conditions for children under the age of 18 travelling into South Africa. There have been many complaints about the extra paperwork and effort required, but according to SA Home Affairs, the amendments have been enacted to fight child trafficking.
The Act stipulates that anyone travelling to South Africa (or through it) with children under 18 years must show a full unabridged birth certificate (that means both parents full names need to appear on the birth certificate), as well as a valid passport. We’ve summarised all the need-to-knows for you below:
a) Accompanied by Both Parents: You will need a valid passport; an unabridged birth certificate (or equivalent) and a valid visa (if required).
b) Accompanied by One Parent: You will need a valid passport; an unabridged birth certificate (or equivalent); a valid visa (if required); and a parental consent affidavit from the non-travelling parent.
Further provisions regarding legal guardians, widowed parents and other categories of guardianship can be found on the official summary PDF by the South African Department of Home Affairs here.
Not surprisingly, the law is a little more stringent when it comes to children under the age of 18 who are unaccompanied by either of their parents or guardians. The requirements are: a valid passport; an unabridged birth certificate (or equivalent); a valid visa (if required); a parental consent affidavit from both parents; parents contact details; a letter from the person receiving the child in South Africa with contact details and the address where the child will be staying; and a copy of the identification document of the person receiving the child in South Africa.
For further permutations regarding the unavailability of both parent’s consent and more information, please see the official summary PDF by the South African Department of Home Affairs here.
We urge all our clients to please take note of these new regulations which come into effect as of 1 June 2015 and to have all the necessary documents with them on entering South Africa. We would hate for you to have the start of your holiday spoilt by missing paperwork!