unabridged-birth-certificateHome Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has confirmed on Monday 25 May that the Department of Home Affairs plans to proceed with the implementation of the new visa requirements which will come into effect on 1 June 2015 and that there are no plans to go back on the decision.

These changes are being made after South African immigration authorities have noted a high rate of child trafficking in and out of South Africa, and aim at minimising these figures and protecting children.

As of 1 June all travellers, including parents who are travelling with their child but without their spouse, who wish to travel with a minor under the age of 18 outside of South African borders will be required to present an unabridged birth certificate in addition to their passport along with the relevant visa. This does not, however, apply to travelling within South Africa.

  • In the case of a spouse being deceased, the remaining parent will be required to provide a death certificate of the deceased parent.
  • Parents who have adopted children need to produce an adoption certificate and children travelling with someone other than a parent will require an affidavit from the parents or legal guardian stating that the child is allowed to travel with said person, the contact details of the parents or legal guardian and copies of the identity documents and passports of the parents or legal guardian
  • Unaccompanied children will need to show their unabridged birth certificate as well as a parental consent affidavit or court order signed by both parents or legal guardian stating that the child has their permission to travel alone.
These documents should be dated within four months of the date of departure or arrival and, if the original cannot be produced, should be certified as a legitimate copy by a commissioner of oaths or other relevant authority.

What is an unabridged birth certificate?

An unabridged birth certificate is a document similar to a normal birth certificate, but it includes the details of both parents of a child.

Children who were born in South Africa after 14 March 2013 were automatically issued an unabridged birth certificate and citizens who were before this date will be required to apply for this document.

Parents can apply for an unabridged birth certificate at any Home Affairs branch. They will need both parents’ ID documents as well as the child’s ID number to apply.

The cost of application is R75 and the process may take between three and eight weeks.


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