TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN TO SOUTH AFRICA

Please Note: If you do not adhere to these regulations you MAY be denied boarding at your point of departure, and/or denied entry into South Africa.

SOUTH AFRICA – TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN

South Africa's immigration laws underwent an intense revision in 2015, with two vital amendments that you need to know about if travelling with children under the age of 18:

1. Any traveller requiring a visa will have to apply in person at the relevant South African authority (effective 01 July 2014). This does not apply to countries who do not require a visa for South Africa, including the UK, EU, USA, Australia, Brazil and Chile.

2. Parents travelling with children MAY 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 one parent or guardians, these adults MAY BE REQUIRED to produce documentation from parents (that are not travelling) proving permission for the children to travel.

Following a revision to the Immigration Act in December 2018, minors travelling with both parents do not need to supply additional documentation. However, PLEASE NOTE South Africa reserves the right to request a copy of the child’s unabridged birth certificate before granting entry, at the discretion of individual immigration officers. Whilst South Africa has said that it is unlikely documentation will be requested, we recommend that you’re prepared to present the unabridged birth certificate to border officials upon arrival, particularly where one parent’s surname differs from the child’s. The full unabridged birth certificate should list the child’s details and both parents’ details. The abridged (short) birth certificate which only lists the child’s particulars won’t be accepted. There are additional requirements if the child is travelling with only the one parent, with neither biological parent, or unaccompanied.

Minors travelling without one or both parents MAY BE REQUIRED to show a full unabridged birth certificate, in addition to other documentation set out in the 2015 Immigration Act. We recommend you are prepared to present this documentation upon arrival. These requirements are set out under Section 4, part C, Amendment of regulation of the Regulations, as shown below:

Where one parent, legal guardian or any other person is travelling with a child, he or she MAY BE REQUIRED by an immigration officer to produce a copy of a birth certificate of the child in order to establish the relationship with such child, unless the child is from a visa required country, upon admission into or departure from the Republic and the immigration officer must, in examining such child for admission into or departure from the Republic request and consider, where applicable:

- The reasons for the absence of the other parent or parents of the child;

- A letter of consent from the other parent or parents or guardian of the child authorising him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic with the child he or she is travelling with;

- A copy of the passport of the absent parent or parents or legal guardian of the child;

- The contact details of the absent parent or parents or legal guardian of the child;

- A copy of 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,

- Where applicable, a copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent, parents or legal guardian of the child provided that the Director General may, where the parent or parents are deceased and the child is travelling with a person related to him or her, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.

- Where an immigration officer requests a traveller to produce a birth certificate of a child or the documentation referred to previously and such is not provided within 24 hours, he or she may refuse admission into or departure from the Republic of such a child.

- Any person travelling with a child as contemplated above is strongly advised to be in possession of the documentation referred to when seeking admission into or departure from the Republic.

Please Note - An unabridged birth certificate can take weeks to obtain.
Department of Home Affairs Tel + 27 (0)12 810 8911 - http://www.dha.gov.za

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A) WHAT DO THE REGULATIONS SAY ABOUT PARENTS TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN?

From the beginning of December 2018, certain categories of child travellers will be exempt from presenting supporting documents at ports of entry. However, travellers are urged to carry these documents because they may be requested in certain instances. Travel requirements for children have been changed in ways which include the following;

For travellers coming to South Africa,

- Children who are foreign nationals from countries where visas are required will no longer have to carry supporting documents. This is because they would have been required to provide these during the visa application process.

- Children who are foreign nationals from countries where visas are not required may be asked to produce supporting documents upon entry. Even though producing supporting documents is no longer compulsory, travelers are strongly advised to carry the supporting documents.

- In the case of countries that endorse the particulars of parents in children’s passports, or other official identification documents, these documents shall be sufficient to establish the identity of the parents of the travelling minor.

Supporting documents are therefore no longer REQUIRED but MAY BE ASKED FOR. Therefore we strongly recommend that you travel with the unabridged birth certificates of your children (or certified copies) due to the ambiguity of the revised regulations.

01. What is an unabridged birth certificate?

It is a birth certificate reflecting the particulars of both parents.

02. Is this applicable to all children?

The South African regulations regard a child as any person under the age of 18 years. It MAY BE applicable to all nationalities departing from and arriving in South Africa. It is not required for passengers remaining in transit, unless he/she requires a transit visa (not applicable to UK passport holders). The unabridged certificate should be submitted during the transit visa application process and both the certificate and visa should be carried on person whilst travelling.

03. What about unabridged birth certificates or other documents that are not issued in English?

All documents issued in a language other than English should be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.

04. What about countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates?

In the case of foreign countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates, a letter to this effect issued by the competent authority of the foreign country should be produced.

05. Must I travel with the original document?

A copy is sufficient as per the regulations. It must be certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned). A certified copy must be no older than 3 months, dating from the time of travel.

06. What do the regulations say about children travelling with one parent, legal guardian or any other person?

In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she MAY BE REQUIRED to produce an unabridged birth certificate and:

Consent, in the form of a letter of consent from the other parent or parents or guardian of the child authorising him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic with the child he or she is travelling with a copy of the passport of the absent parent or parents or legal guardian of the child, and the contact details of the absent parent or parents or legal guardian of the child.

A copy of 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 were applicable, a copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent, parents or legal guardian of the child provided that the Director General may, where the parent or parents are deceased and the child is travelling with a person related to him or her, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.

Any person travelling with a child as contemplated above is strongly advised to be in possession of the documentation referred to when seeking admission into or departure from the Republic.

07. Does this include children travelling with school groups and grandparents?

Yes, any child under the age of 18 travelling with a person other than his/her parents SHOULD BE be in possession of the above documentation.

08. Is a copy of the unabridged birth certificate sufficient or must it be the original?

A copy is sufficient. It must be certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned). A certified copy must be no older than 3 months, dating from the time of travel.

09. Must the copies of the parents’ passports / ID’s be certified?

They must be certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned). A certified copy must be no older than 3 months, dating from the time of travel.

10. In what format must the contact details of the parents be?

A document with the parents’ name and surname, physical address, telephone and cell phone numbers would be sufficient.

11. What do the regulations say about children travelling as unaccompanied minors?

Any unaccompanied minor shall produce to the immigration officer:

Proof of consent from one 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 the child; A letter from the person which is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his or her residential address and contact details where the child will be residing; 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 the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.

Questions and answers 1 - 6 also apply.

12. What is the age for an Unaccompanied Minor in this case?

Any child under 18 travelling by themselves will be seen as an unaccompanied minor by Immigration. This does not affect the airline’s Unaccompanied Minor policy and procedure.

13. When a letter of consent is referred to, must this letter be certified?

It must be certified as the original or as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned). A certified copy must be no older than 3 months, dating from the time of travel.

14. Must the consent be from one parent or both?

It must be from both parents.

15. What do the regulations say about two unused pages in the passport?

Passengers travelling to South Africa must be in possession of a passport with two unused pages required for endorsements. The two unused pages when presented for purposes of endorsing a port of entry visa, visa, permanent residence permit or entry of departure stamp.

16. Is this for all passengers travelling to South Africa?

The two unused passport pages specifically pertain to foreign passports (non-South African); These must be visa pages; The requirement does not apply to foreigners who are in possession of valid permanent residence permits in South Africa; The first unused page in a foreigner’s passport is used for the issuing of a visa, if required, by a South African mission abroad or by the Department’s Head Office in South Africa (the latter in the case of an extended stay); The second page is used by Immigration at the South African port of entry for endorsing the arrival or departure stamp and, in the case of foreigners not requiring a visa, a port of entry visa (one page required for both arrival and departure stamps and port of entry visa).

16. What will happen to a passenger not in possession of these documents?

You MAY BE DENIED ENTRY to South Africa. So although there are lots of IF'S, BUT'S & MAYBE'S, we strongly recommend that you travel with the correct supporting documents and information.

17. What will happen if we don’t have the required documentation at the time of check-in?

Your airline are bound by the South African Immigration regulations and must act accordingly. Travellers not in possession of the required documentation will not be allowed to travel. These regulations are applicable to all passengers arriving or departing South Africa.

18. Who can I speak to if I have further questions?

If you have any further questions relating to these regulations, please contact:

The South African Department of Home Affairs, 0800 60 11 90 (toll free from South Africa); or your local South African Embassy; or Africa Collection, 01403 256655, and we will do our best to assist.

Please Note:

Africa Collection has produced this guide to the Immigration Regulations in an attempt to clarify the situation. However, Africa Collection is in no way responsible for the Act and the Immigration Regulations. Africa Collection will endeavour to communicate any amendments to the regulations in a timely manner, however, Africa Collection accepts no liability for any inaccuracies in the content.

Africa Collection : Portfolio House, Field Place Estate, Byfleets Lane, Broadbridge Heath, W Sussex, RH12 3PB, UK.

Office Hours: 09h00 – 17h30 - Tel: + 44 (0)1403 256655, Fax: + 44 (0)1403 253325

ENJOY YOUR SOUTH AFRICAN SOJOURN

Africa Collection founder and director Chris Fortescue

Chris

Africa Collection travel expert Emma Matthews

Emma

Africa Collection founder and director James Westrip

James

Africa Collection travel expert Chania Hemsley-Smith

Chania

Africa Collection travel expert Lee-Anne Westrip

Lee-Anne

Africa Collection travel expert Rebecca Aylett

Rebecca

Africa Collection travel expert Laura Beard

Laura

Africa Collection travel expert Kirsty Richardson

Kirsty

Africa Collection travel expert Martin Bamford

Martin

Africa Collection travel expert Molly Williams

Molly

Africa Collection travel expert Wendy Baker-Gourley

Wendy

Africa Collection travel expert Alex Westrip

Alex

Africa Collection travel expert Liesl Huisman

Liesl

Africa Collection travel expert Annie Radford

Annie

PLAN YOUR EXTRAORDINARY
TRIP WITH AFRICA COLLECTION...

One of our experienced specialists are looking forward to sharing this wonderful country with you.

CALL A TRAVEL EXPERT

01403 256 655

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE...

BESPOKE ITINERARIES
  • All trips are tailor made, we will design the perfect trip around your personal requirements.
  • The itineraries on this site are a guide, albeit a good one, & all trips can be booked as shown.
  • The style of your accommodation is chosen by you for your personal comfort.
OUR EXPERTISE
  • We have visited every destination and have been dealing with Africa for over 20 years.
  • Our team is one of the most experienced, we know Africa & the Indian Ocean as well as anyone, and better than most.
  • But maybe the most important thing is the passion we have for what we do, and the product we sell.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
  • We are confident we have chosen the best suppliers & guides in each country we sell.
  • The accommodation choices we offer are selected to give you a true sense of the country, its people and cultures.
  • You are a welcome guest and treated as such, a friend, not just a room number.
FINANCIAL PROTECTION
  • Any arrangements booked with Africa Collection are financially protected.
  • Operating for 19 years, with over 200 years of experience we offer the perfect holiday package with confidence.
  • Covered / endorsed by:
    - ATOL Protected
    - AITO
    - ABTA
    - IATA

NEWSLETTER

FULL OF RELEVANT OFFERS,
PROMOTIONS & INFORMATION