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Children’s travel arrangements to and from South Africa

July 8, 2014 Speech Box

The Department of Home and Affairs in South Africa is introducing new travel arrangements for minor children from the 1st October 2014.

From this date there is a requirement that children travelling to and from South Africa with their parents will need to provide and an Unabridged Birth Certificate. These new regulations have come into effect for the safety of children to protect them from child trafficking, abduction and kidnapping.

The new regulations are not just for South African children but are applicable to all young children travelling in and out of the country.

If a child travels with one parent only (whether as a single parent, or merely in the absence of the other parent) the following documents need to be produced at immigration:-

  1. A copy of an Unabridged Birth Certificate.
  2. An Affidavit from the other parent or legal guardian of the child consenting to the child travelling with the adult.
  3. Single parents are required to produce a Court Order granting full parental responsibility in respect of the child.

There are further regulations for children travelling with adults who are not their biological parents and for those children travelling alone.

Initially these new regulations were due to take effect from the 1st July, however, due to the volume of upcoming holiday travel over this period, and the difficulty in some circumstances in obtaining the correct documentation, the Department of Home Affairs has taken the decision to implement the new rules from the 1st October.

This will affect many of my clients who have connections with South Africa. It is important to take note so that the necessary arrangements can be put in place well ahead of travel dates.

Please contact Louise Barretto if you have any queries or require assistance in any of these matters.

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