Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba has announced changes to the implementation of South Africa’s new visa rules.
Speaking at a press briefing in Cape Town Gigaba announced the new requirement of an unabridged birth certificate for all children travelling to and within South Africa’s borders has been postponed until June 1, 2015.
This refers to the requirements that children be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate and have written permission from both parents or guardians authorising the child’s travel.
“We have granted the postponement of these two particular requirements — the unabridged birth certificate and written permission, to June 1, 2015,” Gigaba told reporters at Parliament.
June 24, 2014: Here are the latest updates from South African immigration regarding tourists travelling to South Africa (specifically from India) with children:
1. From 1 October 2014, children travelling in and out of South Africa will be required to carry an unabridged birth certificate as well as a valid passport, under new regulations aimed at improving the safety of children.
2. Travellers from those countries that require a visa will in addition have to obtain a bio-metric visa in person. So for emerging markets like China and India, where there are only two centres per country that can process biometric visa applications, prospective passengers will have to travel miles in person to obtain the visa.
Here are some FAQs:
Since when is it required to carry my child’s birth certificate?
From October 1, 2014. The regulations came into effect at the end of May, but the Department of Home Affairs has delayed their implementation until 1 October, to make allowance for families who have already made plans for the upcoming school holidays.
Why this new requirement?
The rules are aimed at improving the safety of children, including “their protection from child trafficking, abduction and kidnapping”, the department said on Tuesday.
What is an unabridged birth certificate?
An unabridged birth certificate reflects the particulars of both parents (full names).
What else is required?
When leaving South Africa with children, parents or guardians must be able to produce unabridged birth certificates reflecting the details of both parents, as well as a valid passport for each child.
What if both parents are travelling with the child?
This requirement applies even when both parents are travelling with their children.
Who does this rule apply to?
It applies to foreigners and South Africans alike.
What if my child is travelling with his grandparents or any other guardian?
If children are travelling with a guardian, this adult is required to produce affidavits from both parents giving permission for the children to travel. They will also need copies of the passports of the parents, as well as the contact details of the parents.
What if my child is travelling only with one parent?
– If children are travelling with only one parent, they must produce an unabridged birth certificate as well as:
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;
– an affidavit from the other parent granting permission for the child to leave the country;
– a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child; and
– if applicable, the death certificate of the other parent registered on the birth certificate.
What if my child is travelling alone or as an unaccompanied minor?
When a child is travelling as an unaccompanied minor, he or she must be able to produce:
– proof of consent (a letter or affidavit) from both his or her parents or legal guardians to travel in or out of the country; and
– a letter from the person who will receive the child in South Africa, including that person’s full contact details and a copy of their passport or ID book. The letter must also include details about where the child will be staying, and full contact details of both parents or legal guardians.