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Unabridged Birth Certificates Compulsory for Travelling Minors

All travellers under 18 years who are entering or leaving South Africa will be required to have unabridged birth certificates along with passports from the 1  May 2015. This is part of the Department of Home Affairs’ efforts to put an end to child trafficking. These documents need to be presented during check-in for flights.

These are the most basic documentation requirements:

1. Parents travelling with children

  • Parents who are travelling with their child should produce the child’s unabridged birth certificate which reflects both parents’ details.

2. One parent travelling with a child will need to accompany the unabridged certificate with:

  • Consent (in the form of an affidavit) from the other parent whose details appear on the birth certificate.
  • A court order showing they have full parental responsibilities and rights if they are a legal guardian.
  • The other parent’s death certificate, if applicable.

3. Persons travelling with a minor who is not their biological child will need:

  • A copy of the child’s unabridged birth certificate.
  • An affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child granting permission to travel with the child.
  • Contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.

Under some circumstances and upon presentation of certain documentation, entry into or departure from the country may be approved if both parents are deceased.

4. Unaccompanied travelling minors need to present the following to the immigration officer:

  • Proof of consent from one or both of his/her parents or legal guardian, whatever the case may be.
  • A letter from the person receiving the child in the Republic, which contains the residential address and contact details of where the child will be residing.
  • A copy of the identity document or valid passport, along with the visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is receiving the child in the Republic.
  • The parents or legal guardian of the child’s contact details.

If you would like more information on these updated requirements, have a look at information released by the Department of Home Affairs:

Home Affairs encourages parents to get unabridged birth certificates for children