Posted: 19 Oct 2016 Travelling Abroad with Children
Revised: November 2019
The requirements for children travelling to or from the Republic of South Africa are aimed at giving effect to the Children’s Act, 2005.
1. APPLICATION OF THE REQUIREMENTS
1.1. The documents listed under paragraph 2 must on request be produced at a port of entry by South African children entering and leaving the Republic, as well as by unaccompanied minors, regardless of their nationalities.
1.2. Foreign children who apply for a South African visa at any mission or VFS service point must submit, as part of the applications, the documents required under paragraph 2 prior to such visa being issued.
2. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRAVELLING THROUGH A PORT OF ENTRY OF THE REPUBLIC
|CATEGORY||SOUTH AFRICAN CHILD||FOREIGN VISA EXEMPT CHILD|
|CHILD ACCOMPANIED BY BOTH PARENTS||
|CHILD ACCOMPANIED BY ONE PARENT||
|CHILD TRAVELLING WITH PERSON WHO IS NOT HIS / HER BIOLOGICAL PARENT||
|CHILD IN ALTERNATIVE CARE||
3.1. South African children travelling on South African passports may travel to South Africa without birth certificates.
3.2. Supporting documents are not required where children are in direct transit at an international airport.
3.3. Children in possession of valid South African visas are not required to produce the documents already submitted as part of their visa applications when travelling through a port of entry of the Republic.
3.4. A child presenting a passport which contains the details of his or her parent or parents is not required to produce a birth certificate/equivalent document.
3.5. In the case of school tours, the parental consent letter may be replaced with a letter from the school principal confirming that all consent letters are held by the school. Upon producing this letter, immigration officers at ports of entry and South African missions abroad would not require any additional documents from individual scholars such as parental consent, birth certificates, death certificates, court orders or copies of the passports or identity documents of the parents and of the person receiving the child in SA. This special dispensation applies to all schools registered with the Department of Basic Education in South Africa and its equivalent abroad in respect of South African and visa required children. Download the suggested format for this letter here.
4. INABILITY TO CONSENT DUE TO RECENT DEATH OR MENTAL OR PHYSICAL DISABILITY:
Where parent/s recorded in a BC/ equivalent document are unable to consent to the travel by a child due to recent death or mental or physical disability, persons acting on behalf of the child/children may apply for a special dispensation in lieu of parental consent by directing a request and full motivation, together with all supporting documents (for example, treating medical practitioners certificate), to the Office of the Director-General of Home Affairs, at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- This dispensation only applies to incapacity, and not where a parent is either unwilling to consent or unable to be located due to separation or divorce.
- Where a parent refuses to give consent, a court order in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), may be presented in lieu of parental consent.
|Alternative Care||Section 167 of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), states that a child is in Alternative Care if the child has been placed in:
|Letter of special Circumstances||
|Parental Consent Letter||