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New travel requirements for minors

New requirements for children travelling to or from South Africa

The new requirements for children travelling to or from South Africa took effect on 1 June 2015. As these also apply to pupils travelling out of South Africa on school tours, your attention is drawn to the required documentation outlined below. The information below is provided for parents' convenience and no responsibility can be taken for any errors. Please consult the Department of Home Affairs for detailed information or clarification.

Documents listed below must be produced at a port of entry or exit from South Africa for all children. Note that the new requirements for child travel do not apply when children travel within the country.

Definitions

Child/Minor: South African law regards any person younger than 18 years as a child or minor.

Parent: Unless the context indicates otherwise, the word ‘parent’ includes adoptive parents and legal guardians.

Unabridged Birth Certificate: For a South African child, the Unabridged Birth Certificate refers to a birth certificate that contains the full names and the identity numbers of both parents. For a child who is a foreign national, the Unabridged Birth Certificate refers to a birth certificate from the responsible authority in her or his country which lists the particulars of that child’s parents.

Equivalent Document: Any official document recording the identity of the parents of a child shall be accepted in lieu of an Unabridged Birth Certificate. A suggested format for such an Equivalent Document is available at: http://www.dha.gov.za/files/EquivalentDocumentForeignGov.pdf.

Parental Consent Affidavit: This is an affidavit which must accompany an Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document when any parent whose particulars appear on the Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document is not travelling with his or her child. Full contact details and copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child are also required. Go to http://www.dha.gov.za/files/ParentalConsentAffidavit.pdf for a suggested format.

The Affidavit must not be older than four months when presented. The same affidavit will still be valid for the return of the same journey, regardless of the period of the journey. 

The consent of the non-travelling parents recorded on the Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document is required, regardless of the marital status of the parents of the child. In the case of divorce, where custody of a child is shared, parental consent by both parents is required.

In the absence of a Parental Consent Affidavit one of the following documents may be presented

  • A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or full legal guardianship of the child exclusively to the travelling parent;
  • A court order granting permission for the child to travel in the event that there is a dispute or no consent forthcoming from the parent/s of a child; or
  • A death certificate of the deceased parent.

Documentation required

Where both parents are travelling, accompanied by one or more of their children, such children have to produce:

  • Valid passports.
  • Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document for each child travelling.

Where only one parent is travelling, accompanied by one or more of his or her children, such children have to produce:

  • Valid passports.
  • Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document for each child travelling.
  • Parental Consent Affidavit from the non-travelling parent whose details are recorded on the Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document. 
  • Full contact details and copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child.

An unaccompanied minor has to produce:

  • Valid passport.
  • Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document.
  • Parental Consent Affidavit from the non-travelling parent/s whose details are recorded on the Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document. 
  • Full contact details and copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
  • A letter from the person who is to receive the minor in South Africa containing such person’s residential and work address and full contact details in the Republic.
  • A copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the minor in South Africa.

Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, such child must produce:

  • Valid passport.
  • Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document.
  • Parental Consent Affidavit from the non-travelling parent/s whose details are recorded on the Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document. 
  • Full contact details and copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child.

NB: These requirements above apply also to children travelling with school groups. 

Dainfern College

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Dainfern College, 96 Broadacres Drive, Dainfern

PO Box 3199, Dainfern, 2055

Tel: +27 (0)11 469 0635; Email: info@dainferncollege.co.za

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