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TOP PRIORITY TRAVEL ALERT : Children travelling to and from South Africa

The South African immigration department has expressed concern about the growing issue of global child trafficking and has announced new requirements for adults travelling with children under the age of 18, which will take effect from 1 October 2014.

Originally the Department said the new regulation would apply from 1 July, but they took the decision on Tuesday (10 June) to extend the grace period which has also been confirmed by the Department of Home Affairs.

Parents travelling with children would now be requested to provide an unabridged birth certificate (including the details of the child's father as well as the mother) 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 above applies to foreigners and South Africans travelling to or from South Africa as well as travellers in transit.

Below are the new South African immigration regulations concerning travelling with children:

  1. 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. 
  2. In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate as well as 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.
  3. 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 death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate.

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.

  1. Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, he or she must produce: a copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child. 
  2. An affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child.
  3. Copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
  4. 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.

Where an unaccompanied minor is travelling he or she will have to produce the following to the immigration officer:

  1. Proof of consent from one of or both his or her parents or legal guardian 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

An unabridged birth certificate is a certificate of birth showing both the persons parents details which can be obtained from your local home affairs office.  It is important for parents to note that unabridged birth certificate applications can take anything from six to eight weeks to complete.

For more information you are welcome to contact us at

atc@atc-sa.co.za

or visit

http://www.intergate-immigration.com/blog/new-south-african-regulations-traveling-children/

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa/entry-requirements






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