By Vicky Anscombe on 21 May 2015

If you're travelling to South Africa with children under 18 this year, some laws have changed which you should be aware of.

From June 1, the Immigration department in South Africa is changing the requirements for all children travelling to, from or transferring through South Africa. Here are the new guidelines you should follow:

If both parents are travelling with a child who is under 18:

  • All parents travelling with children under the age of 18 to or from South Africa must produce an unabridged birth certificate of each child, which lists the parents of the child

Where one parent is travelling with a child, they must produce:

  • An unabridged birth certificate
  • Consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate, authorising them to enter or depart from South Africa with the child
  • A court order granting them full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship or where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate

Where an adult is travelling with a child, who is not their biological child, they must produce:

  • A copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child
  • An affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that they have permission to travel with the child
  • Copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child

Children travelling alone must produce:

  • Consent from one or both of the parents/legal guardian in the form of a letter or affidavit, for the child to travel into or depart from South Africa.
  • If only one parent is able to provide proof of consent they must also have a copy of a court order granting the full parental responsibilities
  • A letter from the person looking after the child in South Africa, stating their residential address and the address of where the child will be staying
  • A copy of the identity document/valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is looking after the child in South Africa
  • Contact details for the parents or legal guardian of the child

If you are starting your journey before June 1, 2015:

The new regulations come into force on June 1, 2015. If you start your journey before that date, you will not have to travel with these documents, provided that the return leg of your journey takes place within a period of 4 months of your outbound journey.

For more information, click here.

Image credit: Flickr, with thanks to Robin Orchard

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