South Africa: Travelling With Kids & the New Immigration Laws
As of the 1st of October 2014, if you’re travelling with your kids, in and out of South Africa, it is a legal requirement for you to carry (in addition to their passports) an unabridged birth certificate. Airlines will be forced to refuse travel to families not in possession of these documents.
This is according to new immigration regulations intended to improve the safety of children and minimise the possibility of child trafficking, abduction and kidnapping. The New Immigration Amendment Acts of 2007 and 2011 and the new Immigration Regulation 6 (12)(a) came into effect on 26th May, 2014, but the Department of Home Affairs has recently delayed implementing these regulations until the end of October, in order to make allowance for those families who have already made plans for the approaching school holidays.
While much fuss has been made in the media over the impact of these regulations on the tourism industry – the purpose for which these regulations are intended cannot be downplayed. All these new rules might sound stressful and onerous, but you’ll only have to apply for the unabridged birth certificate once and thereafter you can travel as normal.
Children born after March 4, 2013 will have been automatically issued with an unabridged birth certificate upon declaration of birth.
In order to avoid delays and disappointments with your travel arrangements, all South African citizens and foreign nationals intending to travel with their children will need to apply for unabridged birth certificates, for travel that will take place after the 1st of October.
International travelers entering South Africa will need to do the equivalent in their home country.
This is an official document detailing the birth of a child. It contains the particulars of both parents.
For any further enquires, the DoHA website urges people to contact:
David Hlabane, 071 527 9463 and Thabo Mokgola, 071 712 9710.