New SA travel requirements for children

Posted by Lucinda Dordley on 6 December 2018

South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has relaxed some of the international requirements for children who go through South African ports of entry following backlash from international travellers. Previously, parents found it difficult to travel in and out of South Africa with their children due to the strict requirements.

“From the beginning of December 2018, certain categories of child travellers will be exempt from presenting supporting documents at ports of entry,” the department said in a statement earlier this week. “However, travellers are urged to [still] carry these documents because they may be requested in certain instances.”

child, travel, map

The department also outlined which changes will be made to child travel laws, which include the following:

For travellers coming into South Africa: 

– Children who are citizens of countries where visas are required no longer have to carry supporting documents, as these documents are required during the visa application process.

– Children who are citizens of countries where visas are not required may be asked to present supporting documents upon entry to South Africa. Although the need to produce supporting documents is no longer a requirement, travellers are still advised to carry these documents.

– In specific countries that endorse the particulars of children’s passports or other official identity documents, these documents are sufficient to establish the identity of the travelling minors’ parents.

For South Africans leaving the country

– Children from South Africa who travel abroad may be asked produce supporting documents at ports of entry.

– Children with passports detailing the names of both parents are not required to carry unabridged birth certificates when travelling, but a parental affidavit may be required.

The Department of Home Affairs stated that it has trained its immigration officials to implement these changes.

“These amendments were made in terms of section 7 of the Immigration Act, 2002 after consultation with the Immigration Advisory Board,” the department said. “The amendments took effect on December 1 2018 ahead of the festive season when many parents and families will be going on holiday with children. These amendments reflect some of the Cabinet approved reforms to the visa regime and are in line with economic recovery plan and stimulus announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in September 2018.”


Picture: Pixabay

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