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Crossing Borders? Minors won’t need Unabridged Birth Certificates says Home Affairs

This is the time of year when we start thinking about the long upcoming summer school holiday. If you are a parent who is planning on traveling over a South African border with your minor child we have some good news (and some old news) for you.

This is the time of year when we start thinking about the long upcoming summer school holiday. If you are a parent who is planning on traveling over a South African border with your minor child we have some good news (and some old news) for you.

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You won’t need unabridged birth certificates says Home Affairs Minister

The good news, according to a Radio 702 interview with Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, earlier this month is that is confirmed that parents will no longer have to produce unabridged birth certificates when crossing borders and tourists to South Africa will not be required to submit an unabridged birth certificate on applying for their tourist visas.

In 2014 parents were caught off guard and out of pocket having to cancel overseas holidays and being turned around at border posts when they could not produce unabridged birth certificates for their children traveling with them.

Then Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, instituted a rule, which became known as the infamous ‘nightmare rule’.  The rule required anyone travelling through a border post with a minor child to produce that child’s unabridged birth certificate.

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Anyone travelling with the child whose name does not appear on the child’s unabridged birth certificate would also be required to provide satisfactory proof that the parents of the child gave permission for the child to leave the country. Even single parents are required to provide proof of permission from the non-travelling parent to take the child out of the country.

The good news is that "the nightmare rule" which cost the South African tourism industry billions of rands, is now, in part, officially on its way out.

Just have it handy anyway

While media reports confirm that the rule is no longer in play we strongly advise parents to keep their children’s unabridged birth certificates with their travel documents.  Reports are that while the rule has been scrapped officials do random checks and it is in your interest to be able to produce those documents should you have to.

You still need consent

But, in his radio interview with 702, Dr Motsoaledi reiterated that parents leaving South Africa with a child will still need consent from both parents.

“When you go out of the country with a child, we want consent from both parents. Both parents must have agreed that this child can leave the country,” confirmed the minister.

 

Source: EWN and Radio 702

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South Africa minors travel migration