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New requirements when travelling with children to or from South Africa

Last updated: 22.05.2015 // From 1 June 2015 the Immigration department in South Africa is changing the requirements for all children under 18 years of age who are travelling to or from South Africa.

Where both parents are travelling with a child who is under 18
• All parents travelling with children under the age of 18 to or from South Africa must produce an unabridged birth certificate of each child which shows details of the parents of the child.

Where one parent is travelling with a child, they must produce:
• an unabridged birth certificate 
• consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate, authorising them to enter or depart from South Africa with the child
• a court order granting them full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship or where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate

Where an adult is travelling with a child, who is not their biological child, they must produce:
• a copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child
• an affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that they have permission to travel with the child
• copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child

Children travelling alone must produce:
• consent from one or both of the parents/legal guardian in the form of a letter or affidavit, for the child to travel into or depart from South Africa. If only one parent is able to provide proof of consent they must also have a copy of a court order granting the full parental responsibilities
• a letter from the person who is to receive the child in South Africa, containing their residential address and the contact details where the child will be residing
• a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in South Africa
• contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child

If you are starting your journey BEFORE 1 June 2015
The new regulations come into force on 1 June 2015. If you start your journey before that date you will not be requested to travel with these documents, provided that the return leg of your journey takes place within a period of 4 months of your outbound journey.

For more information please contact your local South African Embassy, the South African High Commission or the South African Department of Home Affairs.

Further information:

Travelling abroad with children (PDF from the Dept of Home Affairs)

New requirements for children travelling to South Africa (PDF supplied by the South African Dept of Home Affairs - please go to pages 9 and 10 for an example affidavit)

Statement from Mkuseli Apleni, Director General Home Affairs, South Africa

For Norwegian citizens living abroad, the process of obtaining an unabridget birth certificate is described here

Consent Form Affidavit (PDF from Dept of Home Affairs)

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