What do the regulations say about parents travelling with children to and from South Africa?
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The new South African Immigration Act effective 1 June 2015 will require all customers under 18 years old travelling to and from South Africa to be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate. Parent/s travelling with children under 18 years old will be asked to produce the required documentation at check-in for each flight.
Most importantly, in addition to producing a valid travel document (passport) and full birth certificate, children travelling with only one parent or unaccompanied will also be required to produce a legal document signed by any non-travelling parents, giving approval for the child’s travel. Otherwise, where applicable, they must produce a death certificate of a parent registered on the birth certificate of the child, or a court order granting sole custody.
This legal document can be a Statutory Declaration or an Affidavit and must contain full names and passport details of both parents registered on the birth certificate and child(ren), with contact details for any non-travelling parent. The document should also specify the travel destinations of the parent and child(ren). These legal documents or certified copies of these documents cannot be more than 3 months old. If there is only one parent registered on the birth certificate, that person has sole responsibility.
This applies to all nationalities and is being implemented to counter child abduction and human trafficking.