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South Africa updates child entry requirements

23rd August 2019

Travellers with children visiting South Africa will no longer have to carry the child’s birth certificate.

Airline check-in staff will no longer request birth certificates from minors travelling to South Africa if travelling with their parents with the same last name. However there are plenty of caveats to the requirements. Below is a list of where it may not apply.

  • They are travelling with both parents but their surname is not the same as both parents they must hold an original or a copy of their birth certificate or a passport containing the details of the parents.
  • They are travelling with one parent they must hold an original or copy of their birth certificate and a parental consent letter from the absent parent or legal guardian. This letter needs to  contain a copy of his/her passport or identity document and his/her contact details. Alternatively, the following will be required: A letter of special circumstances or a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or full legal guardianship to the present parent.  In case the other parent is deceased a death certificate will be required. In case the name of 1 parent only (Mother or Father) is on the birth certificate, then the parent must hold an original or a copy of a birth certificate containing information about the parent only.
  • They are travelling with an adult other than a parent. They must hold an original or a copy of a birth certificate and parental consent letters, copies of identification documents and his/her contact details or a letter of special circumstances, a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or full legal guardianship to the present parent. In case the other parent is deceased, a death certificate.   In case the name of 1 parent only (mother or father) is on the birth certificate, the adult must also hold an original or a copy of a birth certificate containing information about the parent only. Documents of parents/legal guardians will include the contact details of parents/legal guardians and contact details of the person in whose care the minor will be.
  • They are travelling as a primary or secondary school tour/trip with a teacher or a trainer, a letter of consent from the school principal is required, confirming that consent letters from all parents are held by the school, together with an ID/passport copy of the accompanying teacher or trainer.
  • They are travelling as an unaccompanied minor they must hold an original or a copy of a birth certificate and a parental consent letter containing a copy of his/her/their passport/s or identity document/s and his/her/their contact details (or consent from one parent together with a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship or death certificate), a letter from the person receiving the minor in South Africa will also be required, containing address and contact details as well as a copy of the identification document of the person receiving the minor, including visa/residence permit (if required).

To find out more and to keep-up-to date with changes here are few links to some useful resources.

Ultimate African Safaris

Department of Home Affairs South Africa (Revised April 2 2019)

South African Airways 

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