Ahead of the festive season, the Minister of Home Affairs has announced amendments to the Immigration Act 2002.

These amendments to the Regulations have the effect of relaxing travel requirements for minor children going through South African ports of entry.

The following will apply to minor children:

Minor children coming to South Africa,

  • Children who are foreign nationals from countries where visas are required will no longer have to carry supporting documents.

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

For South African minor children leaving the country,

  • Children with passports detailing parents’ names will not be required to carry birth certificates when travelling.

A parental affidavit of consent may be required if the minor is travelling with only one parent.

These revised conditions are contained in the Government Gazette titled “Draft First Amendment of the Immigration Regulations, 2014 made under the Immigration Act”. This document does stipulate, however, that the amendments listed would come into effect on 01 December 2018.

It is strongly recommended that parents still carry the supporting documents despite the above to avoid being sent away at ports of entry.