South Africa Travel Documents
Travel to South Africa with children
Legal requirements at ports of departure/entry
At Lovell Chohan solicitors we have the experience in dealing with providing the relevant documentation for travel to South Africa with children. We are able to either take instructions from you over the telephone, attend at Heathrow airport, Luton or Gatwick airport to deal with the signing and certification of documents. Our services are available 24 hours a day. We have offices in Hounslow, Slough and Twickenham which are all in close proximity of Heathrow airport and road links to Luton and Gatwick airports. Our 24hr office number is 0208-570-6661.
A child or a minor is defined as a child under the age of 18 years.
The Republic of South Africa Immigration Act 2002 (act number 13 of 2002) and the Immigration Regulations 2014 set out specific rules relating to the travel of children to South Africa. This piece of legislation was specifically brought in to stop child trafficking.
All the airlines, including, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and South African Airways rigorously enforce this legislation. It is often that parent or parents turning up at the airport of departure/entry are denied entry or access to travel due to the lack of a formal documentation. This often approves to be expensive and time-consuming.
The documents that are required from you will need to be original documents which we will need to be certified as true copies of the original by a solicitor/commissioner of oaths from this office. The commissioner of oaths will certify that he or she has seen the original document and that the copy is a true copy of the original. The certified copy is signed by the commissioner of oaths and bears a stamp/seal of this office. Any parental consent affidavit has to be dated within 4 months of the first arrival or departure travel date. The parental consent affidavit remains valid for the departure and return in relation to the same journey notwithstanding the period of the journey and expiration of the 4 month time limit.
1. Cost of certifying each document as an original in the Hounslow office
2. Cost of preparing and signing a parental consent order in the Hounslow office
3. Costs of attending you at Heathrow Airport and preparing documents
4. Costs of attending you at Gatwick/Luton Airport and preparing documents
All the above charges are exclusive of VAT at 20%
We accept payment by all major credit/debit cards (save for American Express and Dinners Club) Payments for services 3 & 4 above will need to be made in advance prior to our attendance.
Each of the regulations is explained below together with the necessary documents that are required:
Children accompanied by both parents
Regulation 6 (12) (a) deals with where children are travelling to South Africa with both parents the following documents are required to be produced at the port of departure:
- A valid passport which should be valid and not expire within 6 months of the date of travel.
- A valid Visa if this is required; and
- A full birth certificate and not an unabridged birth certificate or short extract of a birth certificate.
Children travelling accompanied by one parent where parents are neither divorced nor is traveling parent widowed
Regulation 6 (12) (b) relates to children either travelling with one parent where the parents are not divorced and nor is the travelling parent widowed. In the circumstances the following documents are required:
- Valid passports for all parties travelling; (Note: whether travelling parent is a single parent and only one parents particulars appear on the unabridged birth certificate it will not be necessary to provide parental consent affidavit. In cases where the parents were never married but both their particulars appear on the unabridged certificate then a parental consent affidavit will be required from the non-travelling parent)
- Valid visas, if these are required;
- An unabridged birth certificate; and
- A parental consent affidavit
- A letter of special circumstances if relevant
Children travelling with one parent who is divorced or legally separated and who has been granted parental responsibility or legal guardianship in respect of the child travelling
Regulation 6 (12) (b) deals with the children travelling with one parent who is either divorced or legally separated and who has been granted parental responsibility or a residence order and/or has legal guardianship in respect of the child travelling. In these circumstances the following documents are required to be produced on departure:
- Valid passport for all the parties travelling;
- A valid Visa, if required
- An unabridged birth certificate or equivalent document;
- A court order/residence order
Children travelling with one parent who is divorced or legally separated and who has parental responsibility or legal guardianship in respect of the child travelling
Regulation 6 (12) (b) provides that a single parent who is divorced or legally separated and who has parental responsibility or legal guardianship in respect of the child who is travelling must produce the following documents:
- Valid passport;
- Valid Visa, if required;
- Unabridged birth certificate;
- The relevant a court order granting parental responsibility or residence and/or joint legal guardianship in respect of the child travelling; (Note: this will not be required if the parental consent affidavit sets out both parents’ names on the unabridged birth certificate and which correspond with the names on the parental consent affidavit and the travelling parents a passport. In such circumstances a court order will not be required for production.)
- Parental consent order; or
- A letter of special circumstances
Children travelling with widow or widower parent
Regulation 6 (12) (b) provides that in instances where children are travelling with a widow or widower parent then the following documents need to be provided:
- a valid passport;
- a valid Visa, if required;
- unabridged birth certificate for the travelling child;
- a death certificate of the deceased parent
A child who is an orphan minor where there are no formal court orders for guardianship or adoption
In these cases that the following documents are required to be produced:
- a valid passport;
- a valid Visa, if required; and
- a letter of special circumstances
A child who is travelling with a person who is not his or her biological parent
Regulation 6 (12) (c) provides that the following documents must be produced:
- a valid passport; a valid Visa, if required;
- an unabridged birth certificate
- a parental consent affidavit; or
- a letter of special circumstances
(Note: where a parental consent affidavit is produced then copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardians of the child or children; and contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child or children; and contact details of the person in whose care the minor will be in South Africa must be produced with the parental consent affidavit with these documents being certified by a solicitor).