SOUTH AFRICA – New requirements when traveling with children…

Passport immigration stamp

Effective from 15 June 2015, the Department of Home Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, introduced new immigration rules for anyone traveling with children to fight child trafficking across South African points of entry/exit. This new rule applies to South Africans as well as foreign travelers and establishes the principle that all children require the consent of their parents when traveling into or out of the Republic of South Africa. Various documents need to be provided to proof that the parents consent to the child traveling with someone else, but even biological parents need to carry a birth certificate reflecting the particulars of the child traveling. All documents have to be either presented as original or as a certified copy. No supporting documents will be required if the children will only be in direct transit at an International Airport.

Find below all the requirements you need to produce when deciding to travel in and out of South Africa:

  1. Where parents are travelling with a child
  • Such parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child.
  • Adopted children to provide proof of adoption by means of an adoption certificate
  1. Where one parent is travelling with a child
  • Such parent must produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child
  • Consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate of the child authorizing him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic with the child he or she is travelling with
  • A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child; or
  • Where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate;
  • Legally separated parents should also provide a court order when the other parent does not give consent. Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.

Explanatory Note: The affidavit may not be older than 3 months, dating from the date of travel.

  1. Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child
  • A copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child;
  • An affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child;
  • Copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child; and
  • The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.
  1. Any unaccompanied minor shall produce to the immigration officer
  • Proof of consent from one of or both his or her parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from the Republic: Provided that in the case where one parent provides proof of consent, that parent must also provide a copy of a court order issued to him or her in terms of which he or she has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child;
  • A letter from the person who is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his or her residential address and contact details in the Republic 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 the Republic; and (iv) The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
  1. Any child who is in alternative care as defined in the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005)
  • shall, before departing from the Republic, produce a certified copy of an authorisation letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides as contemplated in section 169 of the Children’s Act.

For more information, we recommend to contact the South African embassy in Berlin on +49 30 220730.

Do you think this new rule will stop child trafficking…?

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