Travelling With Minor Children Into And Out Of South Africa

If you are planning on travelling this Holiday with your children who are under eighteen years old, you need to be aware that legislation requires that certain documents be provided to immigration authorities when a minor is travelling without their parents or with only one parent internationally.

If a minor child is travelling with both parents, a valid passport, visa if applicable and unabridged birth certificate is required.

If a minor is travelling with only one parent, a valid passport, visa if applicable, unabridged birth certificate and a parental consent affidavit from the non-travelling parent is required. This applies even if the parents are the same sex or were never married.

If the parent is the only parent listed on the birth certificate no parental consent affidavit is required.

If the parent has sole parental rights and responsibilities in terms of a court order, this order together with a valid passport, visa and unabridged birth certificate must be presented.

If one parent is deceased the death certificate of the deceased parent, a valid passport, visa if applicable and unabridged birth certificate must be presented.

If a minor child is orphaned and no formal order for adoption or guardianship has been made, a letter of special circumstances, valid passport, visa if applicable is to be presented.

If a minor child is travelling with a person who is not one of his parents, a valid passport, visa if applicable, unabridged birth certificate, parental consent affidavit of both parents along with copies of their passports or identity documents and contact details, or a letter of special circumstances must be presented.

If a minor child is travelling with adoptive parents, a valid passport, visa if applicable, unabridged birth certificate, or if this is unabridged birth certificate showing the adoptive parents details is pending, a court order confirming the adoption.

If a minor is unaccompanied, a valid passport, visa if applicable, unabridged birth certificate, parental consent affidavit from both parents or letter of special consent, a letter from person receiving minor child containing their residential address in South Africa and a copy of their identity document or passport is required.

All documents must be original or certified copies.

The affidavit must be dated within four months of first arrival/departure dates.

A letter of special circumstances is issued by the Director-General of Home Affairs in the event that a parent or parents are incapacitated.

Should an ex-spouse refuse to sign the parental consent affidavit, an application can be made to the High Court for the Court to sign.

In light of the current global pandemic and depending on the country, parents will need to consider the time and costs of quarantining on arrival and departure.

A link to the parental consent affidavit appears below.

https://photos.state.gov/libraries/southafrica/231771/PDFs/dha_affidavit_consent_traveling_with_minors.pdf

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