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SOUTH AFRICA | No Documents? No Fly!

September 11, 2014
NEW Changes to Immigration Act Impact Child Travelers As Document Evidence Required

September 11, 2014

South Africa With effect from 1 October 2014 , the new regulations relating to children who travel to and from SA come into effect. These new regulations were promulgated in terms of the the South African Immigration Amendment Act of 2010 and define children as persons under the age of 18.

Why does this change matter? All airlines will be bound to verify all documents PRIOR to boarding, so being prepared is critical if a minor child is flying.

In terms of the new regulations, when both parents are travelling with a child, they need to produce an unabridged birth certificate.

The phrase "unabridged" refers to the birth certificate that shows the names of both parents.

In cases where the certificate is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.

When a child travels with only one parent, additional documents should include amongst others;

• an affidavit in which the absent parent gives consent for the child to travel,
• a court order granting full parental responsibilities or legal guardianship of the child,
• or the death certificate of the absent parent.

The affidavit should be no more than three months old from date of travel.

In the case of a child travelling with a person other than a parent, the certificate must be supplemented by affidavits from the parents or legal guardians confirming that the child may travel with that person, copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian, and the contact details of the parents or legal guardian.

Similarly, a child travelling as an unaccompanied minor would have to produce not only the unabridged birth certificate, but also proof-of consent from both parents or legal guardians and contact details, plus documentation relating to the person receiving the child in the Republic. The latter documentation should include a letter stating the person's contact details and residential address and contact details where the child will be residing, plus a copy of his or her identity document, passport or residence permit.

All documents must either be original or certified as true copies of the original by a competent authority.

Children traveling on their own (Unaccompanied Minors) will need the most documentation. This includes;

• consent from both parents or,
• if there is only one parent, a copy of the court order issued to him or her granting full parental rights; and
• contact details of the person receiving them, and
• the address where the child will be residing, and
• a copy of the identity document or valid passport of the person receiving the child.

Resource: 47 4-new-immigration-regulations-other-notices