Department of Home Affairs Legislation on Children Travelling to/from South Africa
Travelling Abroad with Children? Check with the South Africa Department of Home Affairs on latest legislations
Please check with your South African Embassy or on the DHA website for the exact detail related to your situation and the latest information incase of changes.
The amendment to the Immigration Act Regulation 6 requires, in summary, anyone travelling to or from South Africa with children under the age of 18, to be in possession of a fully unabridged birth certificate, in addition to a valid passport (read the DHA lefalet - https://www.dha.gov.za/files/Brochures/Immigrationleaflet.pdf). This policy was implemented in June 2015, but may change.
International travellers and unabridged birth certificates: Foreign children travelling to South Africa will need a legal document, issued by the relevant authority in their home country, containing information similar to South Africa's Unabridged Birth Certificate, including details of both parents. In the case of countries that do not issue similar documents to the Unabridged Birth Certificate, a letter to this effect issued by the competent authority of the foreign country will need to be produced. For the correct format of this letter (published by Home Affairs), click here. In cases where the Unabridged Birth Certificate is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.
The requirement was part of a number of child travel laws introduced in June 2015 to curb child trafficking in South Africa. However, falling tourism numbers and criticism from the travel industry have forced Government to amend certain requirements and there has been talk of the South African Government scrapping the requirement for unabridged birth certificates for children travelling into and out of South Africa. Instead, South African parents' details will be printed in their minor child's passport.
THE RULES MAY CHANGE AT ANY TIME - PLEASE CHECK FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION. Before travelling, it's highly recommended that you consult the South African embassy in your home country, in order to ensure that you meet all relevant criteria or visit the Department of Home Affairs South Africa website: https://www.dha.gov.za