Remember: New travel regulations for traveling with children kicks in on 1 October
With less than a month to go until the new visa regulations for traveling with children becomes applicable New World Immigration would like to remind you of the stipulations of the visa legislation that will require parents to produce additional documents when travelling in and out of the country with under-aged children.
Announced on 26 May this year the South African Department of Home Affairs announced that any person leaving South Africa with a minor child will have to comply with strict new visa regulations. The implementation of these conditions have been already been delayed once and will not be delayed again.
Parents and any other adult wanting to leave or enter South Africa with a minor child will have to produce an unabridged birth certificate for every child in their traveling party along with any letters of permission or the original divorcee decree stipulating permission from the non-present parent that a child may leave the country with a specific person.
The condition that an unabridged birth certificate is required was moved from the original date in June to be effective 1 October as it came to light that many parents planning holidays during the Winter school holidays which would see their children crossing borders were caught off guard and uninformed.
The new rule means that adults traveling with children must carry unabridged birth certificates for all accompanying children, regardless of whether they are their biological children.
This rule is applicable to all visa types with no exceptions accepted. New World Immigration would like to advice parents to make the necessary arrangements to obtain unabridged birth certificates from the South African Department of Home Affairs as soon as possible. Typical processing times at the department are often as much as 6 weeks and this could then impact on your Summer holiday plans unless you act now.
The rules were instituted to reduce and combat the instances of child trafficking and are part of the South African immigration system overhaul spearheaded by Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Malusi Gigaba.
As of one October parents will not only be required to produce an unabridged birth certificate for children crossing the border with them. Should only one of the two biological parents of a child or children be traveling with a child, this parent would have to produce written consent from the absent parent which must be in the form of an official affidavit stamped by a South African Police Services official. The affidavit must include the absent parent’s details including address and ID number along with the same details for the person who will be traveling with the child / children. The document must also include departure information and the date the child is expected back in South Africa.
The guardian or parent traveling with the minor children must also be able to produce a certified copy of the absent parent’s ID and, where applicable, a certified copy of the divorce decree – specifically in relation to the care and movement of the children.
Where a parent is deceased the guardian or parent traveling with the children must be able to present an official death certificate for the other parent.
If a child has been adopted, please be prepared to also submit the relevant documentation in this regard.
Additionally, unaccompanied minors must travel with letters of consent and contact details from both parents as well as letters and identity documents of the persons receiving the children in South Africa or outside the company borders.
If you need more help with this we suggest that you speak to a consultant at New World Immigration who will be able to help you prepare the appropriate visas and supporting documents.