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Travelling to South Africa with Children? Here’s What To Know

By Bidvest Bank
22-06-2015
South Africa's new Passport and Travel Documents Act came into effect on 1 June 2015. If you’re planning on taking your children travelling abroad anytime soon, or you have friends or family who will be travelling with their own children into South Africa, here’s what you need to know.

The new law, which forms part of the government's commitment to preventing child trafficking, applies to all children under the age of 18. In addition to showing their passport and where necessary a visa, the law requires that an unabridged birth certificate showing the particulars of both parents is shown when they enter and exit South Africa. 

Required documentation 

When both parents are travelling with the child to or from South Africa:
  • Valid passport
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Unabridged birth certificate

When one parent is travelling with the child to or from South Africa:
  • Valid passport
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Unabridged birth certificate
  • Affidavit where the absent parent gives consent for the child to travel
  • A court order in terms of which the parent travelling with the child has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child.
  • Where one parent is deceased, a death certificate must be produced.
  • If both parents are deceased, the Director-General must approve the guardian who will be accompanying the child.

When the child is travelling to or from South Africa with a guardian:
  • Valid passport
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Unabridged birth certificate
  • Affidavits from the parents or legal guardian giving their consent for the child to travel with the guardian.
  • Copies of the ID or passports of the parents or legal guardians. 
  • Contact details of the parents or legal guardians. 
  • If both parents are deceased, the Director-General must approve the guardian who will be accompanying the child.

When the child is an unaccompanied minor coming in or leaving South Africa:
  • Valid passport
  • Visa (if required)
  • Unabridged birth certificate
  • Proof of consent in the form of a letter of affidavit from both parents or legal guardians. 
  • Where only one parent provides proof of consent, that parent must also provide a copy of a court order in terms of which he or she has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in       respect of the child.
  • Contact details for both parents or legal guardians. 
  • A letter from the person receiving the child that includes the residential address and contact details where the child will be residing in the country.
  • A copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is receiving the child.
In all instances, the affidavit may not be more than three months old from date of travel. 
It’s worth being prepared and having the right documents in place so that your trip is not jeopardised or curtailed. For the official word on the ins and outs of the new law, take a look at http://www.dha.gov.za/files/Brochures/Immigrationleaflet.pdf

Sources