Following the postponement of the revised requirements for minors entering South Africa last year, the Tourism industry and ministry has been in intensive consultations with the Department of Home Affairs for less onerous requirements, with little success. These talks continue, but as the implementation date of 01 June 2015 looms, we all need to prepare ourselves for the reality that these conditions will go ahead as planned on 01 June this year.
The revised rules regarding original birth certificates for arriving minors is especially important AS CLIENTS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BOARD FLIGHTS TO SOUTH AFRICA WITHOUT THE CORRECT DOCUMENTATION. Please ensure that all clients departing after 31 May, arriving into South Africa on 01 June and onwards are aware. To re-cap the requirements:
Parents travelling with children will now be required to provide an unabridged birth certificate of all travelling children. This applies even when both parents are travelling with their children. When children are travelling with guardians, these adults are required to produce affidavits from parents proving permission for the children to travel.
The full South African immigration regulations concerning travelling with children are:
Regulation 6: (12)
(a) Where parents are travelling with a child, such parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child.
(b) In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and -
(i) consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate of the child authorising him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic with the child he or she is travelling with;
(ii) a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child; or
(iii) where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate;
Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.
(c) Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, he or she must produce -
(i) a copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child;
(ii) an affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child;
(iii) copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child; and
(iv) the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child, Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.
(d) Any unaccompanied minor shall produce to the immigration officer -
(i) proof of consent from one of or both his or her parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from the Republic: Provided that in the case where one parent provides proof of consent, that parent must also provide a copy of a court order issued to him or her in terms of which he or she has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of
(ii) a letter from the person who is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his or her residential address and contact details in the Republic where the child will be residing;
(iii) a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic; and (iv) the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
Notes to the above:
- A child or minor is anyone under 18 years old
- In South Africa, an abridged birth certificate is issued at birth and contains the bare essentials relating to the child. An unabridged birth certificate must be applied for thereafter. This MAY NOT be the case in your country and an unabridged birth certificate may well be what is issued at birth. It must contain the names of both parents.
- There is no clarity as yet from the Department of Home Affairs on whether clients in transit need to bring the required birth certificates. At this stage we are recommending that ALL arriving passengers, including those in transit, fulfill the requirements
- A certified copy of the birth certificate is acceptable.
For any questions regarding the above requirements, please dont hesitate to contact our Africa Experts or call us on 1-300-AFRICA!
Take a look at some of our child-friendly safaris in Africa.