A new immigration law is coming into effect on 1 June 2015. Please note that this law was originally meant to come into effect on 1 October 2014, however, after engaging stakeholders on the matter, the Department has granted the postponement of the two particular requirements -- the unabridged birth certificate and written permission, to 1 June 2015.

Under the new law, all minors (children under the age of 18 years) will be required to produce, in addition to their passport, an Unabridged Birth Certificate (showing the particulars of both parents) when exiting and entering South African ports of entry.

Disclaimer:

The material available on AISJ’s website is designed to provide general information and serve as a guideline only. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, it does not constitute professional advice.  By making use of this information and template, you will be deemed to have agreed to this disclaimer and to have released and discharged the American International School of Johannesburg from all liability of any nature whatsoever, and howsoever arising. 

 >> Updated Statement from DHA - 29 May

 >> Visa Document Template

>> DHA Information & suggested Affidavit Format



        VISA Q & A

  

         POSSIBLE SCENARIOS


VISA Q & A

What is an unabridged birth certificate?

It is a birth certificate reflecting the particulars of both parents.

Is this applicable to all children?

Yes, the South African regulations regards a child as any person under the age of 18 years. It is applicable to South African minors, and any foreign national minors who are not in possession of a valid South African visa, departing from and arriving in South Africa. It is not required for passengers remaining in transit, unless s/he requires a transit visa. The unabridged certificate should be submitted during the transit visa application process and both the certificate and visa should be carried on person whilst travelling. 

What about unabridged birth certificate or other documents that are not issue in English?

All documents issued in a language other than English should be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.

What about countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates?

In the case of foreign countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates, a letter (also referred to as an equivalent document) to this effect issued by the competent authority of the foreign country should be produced. This document should record the identity of the parents, as well as that of the child. This document shall serve to identify the parents of the child intending to travel through a port of entry of the Republic. The suggested format of this equivalent document can be found here

Must I travel with the original document?

A copy is sufficient as per the regulations. It must be certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned). 

What is the time line for the affidavit?

The affidavit must be no older than 4 months, dating from the time of travel. The same affidavit will still be valid for the departure or return in relation to the same journey regardless of the period of journey. The suggested format of the parental consent affidavit is available here

My country does not issue affidavits, which alternative do I have?

A document with the parents’ name and surname, physical address, telephone and cell phone numbers would be sufficient. A letter from the Government of the country concerned confirming non-issuance of affidavits  must be included.

Does this include children with school groups and grandparents?

Yes, any child under the age of 18 travelling with a person other than his / her parents must be in possession of the above documentation.

Is a copy of the unabridged birth certificate sufficient or must it be the original?

A copy is sufficient as per the regulations. It must be certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned).

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Must the copies of the parent’s passports / ID’s be certificate?

They must be certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned).

In what format must the contact details of the parents be?

A document with the parents’ name and surname, physical address, telephone and cell phone numbers would be sufficient.

How do you obtain approval from the director general when you do not reside in South Africa?

Through the nearest South African diplomatic or consular representative abroad.

What is the age for an unaccompanied minor in this case?

Any child under 18 travelling by themselves will be seen as an unaccompanied minor by Immigration. This does not affect the airline’s Unaccompanied Minor policy and procedure.

Must the consent be from one parent of both?

It must be from both parents as per the regulations.

Is this for all passengers traveling to South Africa?

  • The two unused passport pages specifically pertain to foreign passports (non-South African).
  • These must be visa pages.
  • The requirement does not apply to foreigners who are in possession of valid permanent residence permits in South Africa.
  • The first unused page in a foreigner’s passport is used for the issuing of a visa, if required, by a South African mission abroad or by the Department’s Head Office in South Africa (the latter in the case of an extended stay).
  • The second page is used by Immigration at the South African port of entry for endorsing the arrival or departure stamp and, in the case of foreigners not requiring a visa, a port of entry visa (one page required for both arrival and departure stamps and port of entry visa).

What will happen if we don’t have the required documentation at the time of check-in?

Travellers not in possession of the required documentation will not be allowed to travel.

Is this regulations only applicable to persons departing the republic?

No, the regulations are applicable to all passengers arriving or departing South Africa.

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What will happen to a passenger not in possession of these documents?

Regulation 6 (9):

When examining a person before his or her departure from the Republic, an immigration officer shall ensure that the person is not:

i. a fugitive from justice; or

ii. the subject of a court order that orders the Department to prevent his or her departure.

Regulation 6 (10):
Any child who is in alternative care as defined in the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005) shall, before departing from the Republic, produce a certified copy of an authorization letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides as contemplated in section 169 of the Children’s Act.

Regulation 6 (11):
An immigration officer shall refuse any person contemplated in sub regulation (9) or who does not comply with sub regulation (10), to depart from the Republic.  

POSSIBLE SCENARIOS

What do the regulations say about children traveling with one parent?

Regulation 6 (12)(b):

In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and:

  1. i.        Consent, in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate of the child, authorizing him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic of South Africa with the child he or she is travelling with;
  2. ii.        A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child; or
  3. iii.        Where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate,

provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her his or her parents, approve such a person to enter or depart the Republic with such a child.

What do the regulations say about children traveling with both parents?

Regulation 6 (12)(a): Where parents are travelling with a child, such parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child.

What do the regulations say about persons traveling with a child who is not their biological child?

Regulation 6 (12)(c):

Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, he or she must produce:

i.        A copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child;

ii.        An affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child;

iii.        Copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child; and

iv.        The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child,

provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her his or her parents, approve such a person to enter or depart the Republic with such a child.

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What do the regulations say about children traveling as unaccompanied minors?

Regulation 6 (12)(d):

Any unaccompanied minor shall produce to the immigration officer:

i.        Proof of consent from one or both his or her parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from the Republic: Provided that in the case where one parent provides proof of consent, that parent must also provide a copy of a court order issued to him or her in terms of which he or she has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child;

ii.        A letter from the person which is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his or her residential address and contact details where the child will be residing;

iii.        A copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic; and

The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.

Traveling with an adopted child/children

Whilst the regulations do not make mention of the requirements for adopted children, the essence of the regulations would suggest that the following would be required: 

i. Unabridged birth certifcate containing the full details of the adoptive parents; 

ii. A certfied copy of the adoption agreement;

iii. A certified copy of the adoption agreement being made an order of court;

iv. Certified copies of any translated version of any of the above documents, should same not be in English. All translations need to be done by a certified sworn translator. 

Child/Children leaving South Africa with both parents and returning with one

 Regulation 6 (12) (b):

In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce-

i. A copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child;

ii. Consent in the form of a letter of affidavit from the other parent regsitered as parent on the birth certificate of the child; or

iii. A court order with full parental responsbilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child if he or she is the custodian parent or legal guardian of the child,

authorising him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic with the child he or she is travelling with.

School Trips

Regulation 6 (12) (c) will be applicable in this instance.

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IMMIGRATION INFORMATION SESSION @ AISJ

26 March 2015

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

http://www.travel.state.gov/

http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/southafrica-afriquedusud/visa.aspx?menu_id=2&lang=eng


 

Together we dare to imagine, inspire to succeed and courageously make a difference.


Together we dare to imagine, inspire to succeed and courageously make a difference.


Together we dare to imagine, inspire to succeed and courageously make a difference.

Together we dare to imagine, inspire to succeed and courageously make a difference.


Together we dare to imagine, inspire to succeed and courageously make a difference.


Together we dare to imagine, inspire to succeed and courageously make a difference.


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