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African Guide Travel Blog

Travelling With Children To South Africa In 2019

In the interests of always being helpful and ensuring that our valued international guests have the best possible experience when travelling in Southern Africa, we at Jewel of Africa Safaris decided to compile this article on travelling with children to South Africa in 2019.

When you travel to South Africa with children younger than 18 in 2019, it is vitally important to take note of certain passport rules and extra documentation with which all international travelers need to comply.

At Jewel of Africa we make it part of our service to assist all our customers with every aspect of their travel arrangements, but it is advisable for our clients to be made aware of certain arrangements in advance of travel.


Why These Strict Measures?

There was some confusion recently when airlines refused travel to families who were traveling without appropriate documentation for their children.

To protect children against the scourge of human trafficking, certain laws have been implemented and it is important that all travelers are made aware of these.

The laws were recently relaxed to a certain degree and a statement issued by the Department of Home Affairs on 5 December 2018, noted new regulations pertaining to children who are travelling to or from South Africa, stating:

“From December 2018, certain categories of child travellers will be exempt from presenting supporting documents at ports of entry. However, travellers are urged to still carry these documents because they may be requested to provide these in certain instances.”


What’s The Latest Update On This?

If you are from a country that requires visas for travel to our country, you may in the course of the visa application, be required to provide certain documentation, like a birth certificate of your children, as part of the visa application.

So, in essence, as of January 2019 these are the requirements for international travellers to South Africa, according to the Department of Home affairs:

  • Children who are foreign nationals from countries where visas are required will no longer have to carry supporting documents because they would have been required to provide these during the visa application process.
  • Children who are foreign nationals from countries where visas are not required may be asked to produce supporting documents upon entry. Even though producing supporting documents is no longer compulsory, travellers are strongly advised to carry them.

In the case of countries that endorse the particulars of parents in children’s passports, or other official identification documents, these documents shall be sufficient to establish the identity of the parents of the travelling minor.


Supporting Documentation And Birth Certificates

New requirements, introduced by the South African Department of Home Affairs from 1 June 2015, and updated on 1 December 2018 specify that all minors (children under 18 years of age) are required to produce, in addition to their passport, a Birth Certificate which shows the details of both parents for all international travel to and from South Africa.


Children travelling into the country with both biological parents must travel with:

• Valid passport of travelling parent and children

• Visa, if required

• Birth Certificate*: Where both parents are travelling accompanied by one or more of their children, such children have to produce valid passports and a Birth Certificate (BC) for each child travelling. This needs to be the original document (recommended) or a certified copy.

For full details of the newest requirements for travelling with children to South Africa, please see www.dha.gov.za or follow this link.

*Birth Certificate:

In South Africa, a Birth Certificate (BC) is an extract from the Birth Register containing the particulars of a child and those of his or her parent or parents. BCs are official documents issued by the Department of Home Affairs in terms of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992). All birth certificates containing the details of a child as well as the parents of the child shall be accepted for the purposes of these Requirements as BCs, regardless of the country of issue.


Let Us Help You

We hope that this offers some clarity to our clients and if you are travelling with children to South Africa in 2019, as far as the particulars of the Visa applications for your country are concerned, please just contact us for the latest requirements.

As part of our service we remain aware of the current laws and visa requirements, or any changes to them, at all times. Remember personal service is just one of our specialities and we also pride ourselves on maintaining the flexibility to arrange a specifically designed travel package for every individual traveller.

We look forward to being of assistance to you and making your Southern African visit a smooth sailing and unforgettable experience!

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