South Africa Relaxes Entry Rules for Families

South Africa is no longer requiring families travelling to the destination from visa-free countries to carry birth certificates for children.

The change in the law, announced as part of new government immigration regulations last week, came into effect on 01 December, just ahead of peak holiday season to the destination.

Since 2015 the law, introduced to stop child trafficking, has stated that adults travelling with a child under 18 must provide the child’s full, unabridged birth certificate showing the names of both parents at airport check-in. If one parent was travelling alone, they had to provide written consent, by way of a signed affidavit, showing the other parent had given consent for the child to travel.

Children travelling without their parents to South Africa will still need special documentation, including a copy of their birth certificate and a letter of parental consent.

The relaxation of the law, outlined in South Africa’s Government Gazette as an amendment to the 2002 Immigration Act, has been welcomed by the trade. The full amended document can be accessed here.