Planning a trip with your children to South Africa? Here’s everything you need to know about what’s required in terms of the law.
The requirements for children travelling to or from South Africa were revised in accordance with the First Amendment of the Immigration Regulations 2014 that came into effect on 01 December 2018.
The following documents must be produced upon request at all ports of entry by South African children entering and leaving the Republic, as well as by unaccompanied minors, regardless of their nationalities. Applications by foreign children for a South African visa at any mission or VFS service point must include the relevant documents listed below if they are to be successful.
- South African children using South African passports may enter the country without having to produce a birth certificate.
- Children in direct transit at an international airport need not produce supporting documents.
- When travelling through a port of entry into South Africa, children possessing valid South African visas need not produce documents that were submitted as part of the application for said visas.
- Children in possession of a passport that contains the details of their parents are not required to produce a birth certificate or equivalent documentation.
- Consent is required from the parent or parents listed on the birth certificate of the child.
- In the case of school tours, parental consent may be replaced by a letter from the principal of the relevant school. The letter should confirm that the school is in possession of all the necessary documents relating to consent. This special dispensation applies to all schools registered with the Department of Basic Education in South Africa and the equivalent school authorities abroad.
- In the case of a recent death of a parent or parents, persons related to the child/children may apply for a special dispensation in lieu of parental consent by providing a full letter of motivation, together with all supporting documents, to the Office of the Director-General of Home Affairs, at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, consult the official South African government website.
- Suggested format of the Parental Consent letter is available here.
The information above is accurate, to the best of our knowledge, as of July 2023. Safari.com recommends consulting official government resources before planning your travel itinerary.
The tables above are taken from the South African Department of Home Affairs website (http://www.dha.gov.za/).