New Laws For Travelling With Children Explained – FAQ Fridays

UPDATE: The Department of Home Affairs has decided to delay the implementation of the new visa and unabridged birth certificate rules. Read more here.

Video Transcription

Welcome to another edition of Travelstart’s FAQ Friday with me, Nick Paul. This week we are talking about the new immigration laws that affect travelling with children.

So what are they?

Coming 1 October 2014, 1 June 2015 under the new law all minors (children under the age of 18) will be required to produce an unabridged birth certificate as well as their passport upon check-in for their flights leaving South Africa, and also upon entering South Africa. This applies not only to South Africans but any nationality passing through South Africa.

Why is this law in place?

This is being done in order to curb human trafficking.   According to the Department of Home Affairs every year 30 000 children are trafficked through South Africa, and 50% of these are under the age of 14 years old.

How do you apply for an unabridged birth certificate?

If your child was born after the 14th of March 2013 you should have been given an unabridged birth certificate with the childs birth. For everyone else, you will need to apply at your nearest Home Affairs Department. You will need to take along your child’s ID book and pay the fee of R75 in cash. The unabridged birth certificate can take up to 8 weeks to be processed.

Who is exempt?

  • Domestic Travel – the law does not apply to children travelling domestically within South Africa.
  • School tours
  • Cruises to no-where – these are cruises which do not stop off anywhere, they literally just go out to sea and then back again to a South African port. Correction: 27 August 2014: MSC Cruises South Africa has confirmed that no cruises are exempt from the new requirements.

New Child Travel Requirements Go2Africa Infographic
Click image to expand infographic. Source: Go2Africa.com

Applications of the Law

Child travelling with both parents: 

A child travelling with both parents will be required to travel with their passport and unabridged birth certificate.

Child travelling with one parent:

For a child travelling with only one parent you will need your childs passport, unabridged birth certificate and a signed affidavit or court order stating that the other parent is aware that the child is travelling and has given permission for the child to travel. If one of the parents has passed away a death certificate will suffice.

Child travelling with a guardian:

For a child travelling with a guardian the child will need to have a passport, unabridged birth certificate and an affidavit or court order signed by both parents allowing permission for the child to travel. In the event that both parents have passed away a death certificate for both deceased parents must be used.

Unaccompanied child: 

If your child is travelling unaccompanied the situation is slightly more complicated. You will still need the passport, unabridged birth certificate and affidavit or court order stating the child has permission to travel. To add to this you will need contact details of the person receiving the child, as well as a certified copy of their ID or passport and their physical address.

For more information for the documentation you will need and the process of applying for an unabridged birth certificate please click here.

Thank you for watching, if you have any other travel related questions please ask them in the comments below and we might make them into a video next time. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel by clicking here.

Thanks

faq-friday-blog-imagev2

Our Readers Comments

  1. I have adopted a child from Malawi, they are not issued with birth certificates here. Will a copy of the adoption order suffice?

    • Hello Betsie…unfortunately we are unable to assist with this. You will need to contact Home Affairs for this information..Their contact details are below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  2. HI

    Your facts are not quite correct. The regulation on the DHA website states “affidavit AND court order” not OR court order. The Court order is going to create major problems – it has cost implications for the applicant and the court rolls are already extremely full. Getting a court date could take a long time.

  3. So passports alone weren’t good enough because I imagine they were easy to forge. Are birth certificates harder to fake? Or do they scan them into an authentication system before departing/landing?

    • Hello Jay, you will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs for more information regarding this topic. their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

    • yes, passports are so much easier to fake then a piece of A4 paper(hint of sarcasm) , the point is if these guys could fake a passport with all the security features then how easy would it be for them to fake a piece of paper?
      ( sarcasm)

  4. Hi
    Can you take a certified copy of your unabridged certificate?

    Cheers

    • Hello Richard, yes as far as we are aware you can, please contact the DHA for more information ..Their contact details are below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  5. Hi,
    I am staying with a step daughter and my wife has no relationship with the father.daugter uses my wife’s surname. How do I get the consent?

    • Hello Thulani, she will need to get an affidavit from the child’s father in order to travel. You can contact the Department of Home Affairs for more information on this –

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  6. hello

    you sais it takes 8 weeks or more.

    it means if im planing to travel with my kids during october……i will not be able to?

    • Hello Nilton, you will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs for this information, since they have confirmed it takes at least 8 weeks. Their details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  7. Unmarried, I have a child with someone who I don’t know his where about and is out of our life.

    • Hello Sarah, you will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs in this case as they will be able to give you the information needed:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  8. Nick, regarding the question about how to apply for an unabridged birth certificate you mentioned that “you will need to take along your child’s ID book”. ID books only get issued once children turn 16. What about children younger than 16, without an ID book?

    • Hello Christo, you can apply for this with the birth certificate – it would be best to contact the Department of Home Affairs for more information:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  9. Thanks for the info. It took me a year to get my son’s unabridged birth certificate, so I really hope that they will speed things up seeing that everyone now needs to apply for one.

  10. I am a single parent intending to travel abroad with my child, do I need to get the other parent to give me an affidavit or can I go get an affidavit myself and a letter from the father?

    • Hello Candice, you will need to get an affidavit from the other parent in order to travel. You can get more information here –

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  11. You have mentioned that these unabridged birth certificates are required for children flying in and out of SA. What about crossing our borders? e.g. Mozambique?

    • Hello Diana, for any crossing of borders an unabridged birth certificate is needed. You can get more information here:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  12. Does this apply if you for example turn 18 in October 2014 and you are travelling with friends to Italy in December 2014

    • Hello Rina, you will not need to get these documents if you are 18 at the time of travel. You can get more information here:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  13. We will be traveling with my daughter this December, she is 16 years old. My husband of 12 years and I gave love and all to her. I do not know where her biological father is, did see this soul in 14 years. please advice.

    • Hello Pati, you will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs for this – their details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  14. So this only applies to enter and exit via air and not via road, i.e. into neighboring countries??? Then it’s not going to help much in curbing the problem is it?

    • Hello Tee, this applies for any type of crossing borders – road, sea and air. For more information please contact DHA as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  15. There is some conflicting info that was posted on the facebook page of MSC. Somebody had asked if this unabridged bc was required for cruises staying within SA waters (like the Durban to Cape Town cruise which I will be doing with my kids and some other families). MSC replied that this was indeed needed, even for the cruise-to-nowhere. Others responded that the call centre in actual fact said they did not. Their website says to check with Dept of Home Affairs, whose website specifically states what is being said on FAQ Fridays. I have mailed them but no reply. I was wondering if perhaps this was an additional requirement MSC has placed on ALL their cruises, even those staying in SA. Please share some light as there are about 13 people under 18 travelling in our party, some of who already have an ID document. Thanks.

    • Hello Brian, as far as we know, this is not needed. However if you are making a booking through them and they saying you need it – it will probably have to get it. The Department of Home Affairs states you do not need it if staying within the borders of South Africa. At this stage, we will have to refer you back to MSC to give more details on this – since you need a passport to board a ship, it might be that with this you need the unabridged birth certificate. Good luck with this , and let us know if you get any further information – Almene

  16. Dear all

    No child under the age of 15 years and 6 months will have an ID book. You take your abridged birth certificate (where the ID number will be indicated) and then you complete the application. As for the adoption, you should have registered your adopted child in South Africa, as this child would become a SA citizen, if you are a SA citizen.

    • Please leave your comment…hi,where can I get the proof,that I’m not involve with the child ‘s father

    • Hi Veronica,

      Thanks for this interesting query.

      There are so many questions that first need to be established before one can give the correct answer. Example, if you are the primary care giver of the child. If the father has lost all rights to parenting. Do you have all the legal documentation, to name a few: unabridged birth certificate and affidavit or court order.

      I would suggest contacting Home Affairs 0800 60 11 90 let them know the exact rights the father has and they would be able to give the correct information.

      Best of Luck!

  17. You have no idea how helpful this has been. I am due to fly out of the country mid October and it was never mentioned that I needed my husband’s permission letter for our daughter.

    Thank you so very much . Truly appreciated.

    Kind regards
    Palesa

  18. Hi there
    What happens in a case where father has abandoned family and makes no contact?
    many thanks

    • Hello Arum, you will need to contact Department of Home Affairs for these details. Their contact details are:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  19. Good day, many thanks for your interesting info.
    we have lived in sa for 45 years we are british nationals with perminent residence.
    we took our new passports in for our perminent residence stamp and were refused.please could you explain why and how we are to travel in the future.
    my wife was also refused a new id document and told to become a sa citizen.
    we are finding this very un nerving and would really appreciate your advice.
    Kind regards.
    charles.

    • Hello Lesley, unfortunately we cannot assist with this, as only Home Affiars will be able to answer these questions. It might be a good idea to get into contact with an immigration lawyer to assist. You can also contact Home Affairs as per below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  20. Do you have to travel with an ORIGINAL unabridged birth certificate or will a certified copy be sufficient?

    • Hello Fiona, thank you for contacting us! You will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs for assistance with this – their contact details are below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  21. I have applied in 18 july at Richards Bay offices for my daughter as we are leaving for Phuket 19 sept returning 5 oct. Upon enquiring they said that it will take at least fourth months! They seem to have a huge backlog in Pta where the records are kept. The R/b office are in the dark as to whether the requirement will in fact come into effect 1oct! Is there any person I can contact at Home affairs in Pta that can help me? Thanks

    • Hello Gideon, thank you for contacting us! The only contact details we have are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  22. I am travelling alone with my 16yr old daughter on the 1st October to Thailand. I have her passport & unabridged birth certificate. Her father has never met nor had any contact with her. We were never married & his name does not appear on her birth certificate. He is not South African & I have no idea where he lives. My question is : Am I going to have a problem leaving the country with her. Everything is booked & paid for & I do not want to get to Johannesburg to be told she may not fly.
    Regards
    Sue

    • Hello Sue, you will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs for more information on this – their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

    • Hi sue.

      I am in the same situation. If I understand the law correctly, you will need to apply for a court order granting you full parental rights. This is what I have done. Unfortunately, it is an expensive exercise and the court rolls are quite full, so getting a court date could take a while.

  23. My children were both born in the UK and have British and South African passports. We are still living in the UK but tend to visit family in South Africa every two years. My children both have full, unabridged British birth certificates. Can I use this when visiting South Africa or do I need to apply for South African unabridged certificates?

    • Hello Liesl, as long as they have unabridged birth certificates they will be able to travel into and out of South Africa. For more information, please contact Department of Home Affairs – their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

    • Hi liesl, I have same situation as you. I see the unabridged British passport does not include id numbers. I wondered if you’d found out if this matters?
      travelling soon and now feeling concerned.
      kind regards, chantale

    • Meant unabridged British birth certificate…..not passports sorry for typo

  24. I am a single parent . My child’s father is refused paternity and is not involved in their lives. His name doesn’t appear on the unabridged birth certificate . How would the law be applied in this case

    • Hello T, you will need to contact Department of Home Affairs for more information on this topic – their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  25. Will A certified copy of unabridged birth certificate suffice?

    • Hello Jill, you will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs for more information on this – their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  26. We are a group of school children out of different schools who are all part of one sport coaching group that must participate in a tournament in Namibia. Can I as Headcoach supply a letter to cover all the players and will they then also be exempt from this new law. As we depart the 2nd of Oct Home Affairs told us the waiting period for the new unabridge birth certificate can be 3 months.
    Your advice will be appreciate.

    • Hello Maryna, you will need to contact Department of Home Affairs for more information on this – their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  27. Apparently some airlines (eg. Emirates are already asking for the unabridged birth certificate)
    I applied for my son’s certificate on 27 July at Home Affairs Roodepoort and was sent an sms to collect it on 19 August.

  28. A few thoughts, that I don’t expect you to answer, but for readers to appreciate the effect of poorly drafted and thought out regulation:

    a) do you require a copy, certified copy or original of the unabridged birth certificate?

    b) some countries have no such thing as an unabridged birth certificate – does that mean these nationalities can no longer travel to South Africa with children?

    c) you leave South Africa, your bag is pilfered and your child’s unabridged birth certificate is stolen – does that mean that you cannot return to South Africa until you have one? If so, is it even possible to apply for an unabridged birth certificate outside South Africa given that you need to present yourself at Home Affairs? In similar circumstances a visitor to South Africa loses the unabridged birth certificate or it is stolen. Presumably that means that they cannot leave South Africa until they obtain a replacement.

    Time will tell, but at much cost and inconvenience to many.

    • Hello Haydn, you will need to contact Department of Home Affairs for more information on this – their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  29. What if you turn 18 in October 2014 and travelling with friends in December 2014 to Italy does it still apply?

    • Hello Rina, you are regarded as an adult when you turn 18 and do not need these documents at the time of travel. For more information, please contact Domestic Home Affairs – their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  30. I live in the UK. My wife is travelling to SA in November with our 2 kids. How do I go about getting a signed affidavit?

    • Hello Gregg, you will be able to get an affidavit from your local police station. For more information, please contact Department of Home Affairs – their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  31. “If your child was born after the 14th of March 2014 you should have been given an unabridged birth certificate with the childs birth. For everyone else, you will need to apply at your nearest Home Affairs Department. You will need to take along your child’s ID book…….”

    Children are only issued with ID Books at age 16, what about a child who is 2 or 3 years old, for example? How can you apply for an unabridged birth certificate without the required (but not yet issued) ID. It makes no sense.

    • Hello Mieke, you will be able to apply for the unabridged birth certificate using the child’s birth certificate. For more information, please contact Department of Home Affairs – their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  32. My daughter, South African by birth is married and living in Australia, so also holds an Australian passport (same as her husband). She is expecting their first child this January. They are planning on coming out to visit South Africa with their child in May 2015. What documentation will they need for their child to travel with both of them next May ?

    • Hello Janita, they will be able to request the unabridged birth certificate when they go for the infant’s birth certificate. For more information, please contact the Department of Home Affairs – contact information below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  33. When the Department of Home Affairs says “every year 30 000 children are trafficked through South Africa….” do they mean illegally trafficked or is this merely referring to children in transit with their parents. In other words, is this an irresponsible statement from the Department of Home Affairs?

    • Hello Old Red, they are referring to children being illegally trafficked – not kids travelling with parents. Hope this makes more sense, Almene

  34. My daughter has just turned 16 and I have applied for her Smart ID card.
    1.Will she still need the unabridged birth certificate.
    2. if yes – We are scheduled to travel in a months time – what happens if i apply for the birth certificate and it does not arrive in time.
    3.she has the old type birth certificate – will this help?
    please advise. thanks in advance

    • Hello Omar, thank you for contacting us! She will still need the unabridged birth certificate as she is under 18. You will not be able to travel without the unabridged birth certificate. You will need to contact DHA as per below:

      Link to their site: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

    • Hello Omar, you will need an unabridged birth certificate since she is under 18. You will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs for more information about lead times since they have advised it can take from 8 weeks. Please contact them as per below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  35. My children are coming to visit from London in December. They have 2 minors age 1 1/2 and 3. Do they need a passport as well as the unabridged birth certificate for their visit to South Africa? Both were born in the UK

    • Hello Antoinette, they will need to get unabridged birth certificates for both kids in order to travel in and out of South Africa. You can get more information from the Department of Home Affairs as below:

      Link to their site: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  36. What about domestic flights with kids? What documentation is needed for flying? Will a passport suffice?

    • Hello Mike, for domestic travel you do not need the unabridged birth certificate – this is for all international travel. You can use their birth certificate for travel within South Africa. For more information, please contact the Department of Home Affairs as per below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  37. my daughter’s father passed away and we were not married and he was not registered when i gave birth to my daughter. i applied and received unabridged certificate, however DHA cannot include father’s details without his consent. How do i approach this matter?

    • Hello Sara, this is something you will need to contact DHA with as we are unable to answer this question. Their contact details are:

      Link to their site: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  38. Does this also apply to other border posts, i.e. when travelling by land, lets say from South Africa to Mozambique ?

    • Hello Monika, this applies to other border posts as well such as land and sea. We would advise you contact the DHA for further information on this topic. Their contact details are:

      Link to their site: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  39. Do you need to provide the original Unabridged Birth Certificate when departing on a flight or will a certified copy suffice?

    • Hello Laurika, thank you for contacting us! We would advise you contact the DHA for further information on this topic. Their contact details are:

      Link to their site: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  40. What happens if I am raising the child alone and the father is not interested in the well-being of the child. Will he be required to give his consent? and waht if he refuses to give consent out of spite?

    • Hello Zodwa, thank you for contacting us! We would advise you contact the DHA for further information on this topic. Their contact details are:

      Link to their site: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  41. Hi.

    Will the affidavit have to drawn up for every trip, or can an affidavit with not time limit be used repeatedly? Is there a time limit for the validity of the affidavits?

    Thank you

    Catarina

    • Hello Catarina, thank you for contacting us! We would advise you contact the DHA for further information on this topic. Their contact details are:

      Link to their site: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  42. Please can you outline what is required for a school tour specifically – surely not all documenttaion requirements are exempt ?
    Great help – thanks a stack

    • Hello Bryce, for school tour specifics you will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs – their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  43. Hi there,

    Divorced mom, sole custody but shared guardianship of a 14 year old. He does not have the unabridged birth certificate or ID.

    I don’t have contact with his father – how will I go about applying for the documentation including a passport?

    Help please 🙁

    • Hello Hanlie, as far as we know an affidavit is needed. You will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs for more information on this , their contact details are below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  44. Good morning,

    On the above you say that school groups are exempt – please can you give me more clarification on this.

    Thanks so much!!

    • Hello Nikshom, thank you for contacting us. For group tours – whether school tours or sports tours, you will need to contact the Department of Health Affairs for this – their contact details are as below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  45. hi Almene

    I see that you did not respond to my post where I indicated that your article states that you can either have an affidavit or a court order, where in fact the regulations on the DHA website state you need both. I am concerned that you are providing people with the incorrect information

  46. My (more accurate) interpretation of the law is:

    1. no children are allowed to be present in any part of the plane other than the cargo hold.

    2. All children and their parents must be heavily sedated before the offspring are loaded into the hold.

    3. children heard to make any noise, whatsoever, will immediately be transferred to the garbage compactor in the closest galley.

  47. I am from Mozambique, and i travel a lot to South Africa, do i need to have the unabridged birth certificate? because we have ID, from babies, and to have a passport we need the ID, and in that ID there is all the parents details….
    every time that i travel with my kid alone, my husband do the Travel letter.

    • Hello Katya, you will still need to get an unabridged birth certificate for your kids, its a requirement for travel to and from South Africa. You will be able to get more information from Department of Home Affairs, their contact details are below:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  48. why is it that none of the people working at the home affairs know an exact date in how long it will take to receive an unabridged birth certificate. some say 2-3 months, others 3-6 months meanwhile people have been receiving them in less than 4 weeks?

  49. I would just like to confirm that local travel is still exempt? My wife was told we would need one even on a local flight(by the airline)

    • Hi Francois,

      I can confirm that domestic travel is exempt.

      Cheers,
      Russell

  50. Hi, we are currently living in the US and are planning on visiting South Africa next year. My husband, the kids and I are traveling together when we enter the country but he is coming back to the US before me, so I will be traveling back with the kids alone. Do I still need to have a letter to leave South Africa with my kids? Thanks for the info

    • Hello Jinty, since this has now been postponed till 1 June 2015 – it is no longer a requirement to travel in and out of South Africa till then – the article has since been updated

  51. Hi, we live out of South Africa at the moment but travel home to visit. My kids don’t have unabridged birth certificates and the application process from here will take a long time. Does this mean we cannot re-enter South Africa with them until we have the unabridged certificates?

    • Hello Wendy, at present the only information we have is that unabridged certificates are necessary to leave and enter South Africa. You will be able to get more information here:

      Link to DHA website: http://bit.ly/1veV9fm
      Toll free number – 0800601190
      Opening hours 7am – 7h30 pm (Monday to Friday)
      and on Sat 8 Am – 5pm

  52. As far as I’m concerned it’s discrimination to issue certificates for children born after 14 March 2013 immediately and making others wait 8 weeks!

  53. Hi, I am leaving for the UK on the 19th Oct. Am travelling with my two sons (aged 5 & 2). We have our Visas, affadavits etc., but have not yet been issued with their unabridged birth certificates. I have been waiting four months now. I have been into home affairs numerous times, have opened a case number and still their documents are sitting at head office and I have been told that there is no other way I can contact them.
    Some people have said that the new laws only come into effect next year, others say I have to have the unabridged birth certificates.
    Starting to panic.
    Can you tell me if we will be allowed to leave and re-enter SA without the unabridged birth certificates?
    Thanks.

  54. Hi I’m in the UK my son is in south africa and he’s father. My son is 7 years old he’ll be joining me and my husband in December 2014 travelling with my Mother and Father in law…. please help with some guidance on how to go about. . Wont this process prolong everything????

    • HI there

      My wife and I are immigrating to Australia in July with my new born son. We both have british passports and we are applying for a british passport for my son. In order to leave SA do we need to get him a South African passport or can he leave on his British passport? I would do anything to avoid standing in the queue at home affairs to get him his South African passport.

      Thanks

    • Hi Sean,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      For this I would suggest contacting the British Consulate to see if your son can depart on just a British Passport.

      They should be able to give the most up to date information.

      British Consulate in Cape Town
      Address: 15th Floor Southern Life Centre 8 Riebeeck Street , 8001 Cape Town
      Tel: 27 (0) 21 405 2400

      British Consulate in Pretoria
      Address: 255 Hill Street, Arcadia, 2 Pretoria
      Tel: 27 (0) 12 421 7500
      Fax: 27 (0) 12 421 7555

  55. I’m a single mother by choice and conceived my child using an anonymous sperm donor via a sperm bank.

    From research, I understand that single parents will need to produce an affidavit in which the absent parent gives consent, a court order or a death certificate.

    What is required in the circumstance of children conceived via a donor?

    • Hi AF, to be honest I have no clue.

      This was not covered by any of the vague or non-existent guidelines which home-affairs put out – which is probably why they delayed implementation. Not having knowledge of the process for sperm donation, I can only guess as to what you’d need. Logic would say that you would have some sort of documentation showing that the child is from an anonymous sperm donor. At least the unabridged birth certificate will show no father’s name. I would think that since there’s no father’s details on the unabridged birth certificate this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you have any other documentation to prove this, bring that too.

      That being said, I would definitely double-check this with home affairs to get it from the horse’s mouth.

  56. What if the mother cannot find the father as they were never married?

    • That’s a very good question Max, unfortunately home affairs haven’t said what to do around that. However, if the father was not listed on the birth certificate when the child was born, when you get an unabridged certificate from home affairs it should reflect this, in which case no details would be needed from him. However, if he was listed on the certificate, consent or documentation proving he has relinquished parenting rights to the child will be needed too.

  57. What if my husband plans on forging my signature for a letter of consent? How do I stop him from taking my children out of the country?

    • Hi Samantha, scary thought, it also seems that it’s one which hasn’t crossed the minds of those in home affairs. Logic would dictate that they might expect the letter to be certified by a commissioner of oaths. Remains to be seen if this is how it will work out.

  58. Can you please confirm the latest information on the date at which birth certificates and affadavits are required by parents regarding their kids for travel into and out of SA.

    I heard it is now June 2015 and I heard that while affadavits for single parent/child travel are required, birth certificates requirements have changed? All quite confusing – is there a web source where the official requirements are posted, either clearly or in the everyday official opaque form?

    • Hi Kim, yes, you will see the updated into on the post above stating 1 June 2015. Unfortunately, as is the usual case with our government, there is little to no up-to-date information online. We’re one of the only countries who’s embassies almost all don’t have their own websites. Home affairs’ site is riddled with out of date information too. Frustrating, but I’m sure they’ll put something out in the press closer to the time as they usually do this.

  59. We want to travel from jhb to dbn this weekend, my baby is 8 months old, her birth sertificate got lost when we moved to a new house. Do I need one for her when flying locally?

    • Hi Sonja, Great to hear from you. Yes that is correct, the airline check-in staff will need you to present your daughters original birth certificate at check-in. Have a great day.

  60. We are traveling from JHB to Vilanculos and my daughter is taking a friend. Will I need to get an avadavat from her parents? And ensure that she has a unabridged birth certificate?

    • Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      For a child travelling with a guardian the child will need to have a valid passport (necessary visa’s if this is required), unabridged birth certificate and an affidavit or court order signed by both parents allowing permission for the child to travel.

  61. I am planning a trip to Capetown from Johannesburg from the 7th April 2015 and will return on the 11th of April 2015, Both my wife and I have our Identity documents. My son is 9 years old he is born on the 02 Jan 2006. I have misplaced his birth certificate. I applied for an affidavit at my nearest police station confirming that I have misplaced his birth certificate. I have the a proof of Confirmation of birth from the hospital my son was born as well. Will this be ok for our trip?

  62. I’m pregnant paid for a trip to South Africa to see family in December my baby will be two months when we fly I will not be registering the father on the birth certificate so can I just bring an unabridged certificate showing that I am the only parent the father won’t be on there will that suffice because what about women who don’t know who the father of their child is it doesn’t explain in the new rules what they do?

    • Hi Sabrina,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      As far as we are aware if there is only one parent on the unabridged birth certificate no letter would be needed from the father.

      However in saying this we are not 100% and strongly suggest you contact Home Affairs as they should be able to answer any queries you might.

      Best of Luck!

  63. Hi
    I’ve been looking all over for information about how this law affects children in transit. My two kids are flying from Harare to Maputo via Johannesburg, but I can’t find any definitive answer as to whether they need all this extra documentation. Some places, such as SAA, say that as they’re in transit it doesn’t apply if they’re from a visa exempt country (they are as they hold UK passports) but others places, such as the UK and US government sites, say that this new law also applies to kids in transit, In our case it’s also further complicated as the kids are going to be travelling unaccompanied.
    Can you shed any light on this question?
    Thanks very much.

    • Hi Bill,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To our understanding it is not required.

      Please find link below and see under: General Notes / 6. Exceptions / d)

      “d) No supporting documents will be required by persons in direct transit at an International
      Airport.”

      http://www.etnw.co.za/doc/SummaryImmigrationMinors.pdf

      However we do suggest you contact either Home Affairs or the airline the passenger will be traveling with to get the most up to date information.

  64. Hi,
    What happens if f father is listed on UBC, but uses mothers’ surname and she has no way to locate him for an affidavit?

    Thanks!
    Lisa

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      For this I am afraid I am not sure. I am going to e-mail you the official release from the Department of Home Affairs stating all the information with regards to Standard Operating Procedures for minors travelling into and out of South Africa with an Unabridged Birth Certificate.

      I would also suggest given them a call and the airline the passengers will be traveling with, they should be able to answer any queries you might have.

      Best of luck.

    • Hi Lisa

      I have this same problem. I was wondering if/how you managed to overcome it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  65. Hi my daughter has a unabridged British birth cert. It includes names and occupation of both parents but not ID numbers due to fact that it wad issued in Britain. Is this enough Info for travel?

    • Hi Chantale,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I would not be able to confirm this 100% so I would suggest you contact Home Affairs and they should be able to clarify this.

  66. Hi,
    We currently live in Dubai, me my husband and our 7 year old daughter. We are residents of the UAE, we will be travelling to South – Africa for holiday in June, we did apply for our daughters unabridged birth certificate but we are afraid that it will not be done by the time we have to leave which is in August. Does it change anything if we are residence of the UAE or will we still need the certificate?

    Kind regards

    • Hi Karen,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge you would still need the unabridged birth certificate in order to enter into South Africa.

      I would suggest you contact the Department of Home Affairs and they will be able to shed more light on this for you.

      I’ve e-mailed you the official release from the Department of Home Affairs stating all the information with regards to Standard Operating Procedures for minors travelling into and out of South Africa with an Unabridged Birth Certificate.

  67. Hi,

    My son and i have both dual South African and British Citizenship. We are currently residing in South Africa and have planned a trip to the UK last week of June. I have applied for my son’s South African unabridged birth certificate in March 2015, and still have not received it. Seems like the application has got lost somewhere along the line.
    When we leave South Africa, we have to use our SA passport as per SA law. Can i use my sons British Birth Certificate when we exit and re-enter SA ?
    The British Birth Certificate has both parents names on it.

    • Hi Sal,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If your sons British UBC has both parents names on and its the original this should not be a problem.

  68. Sorry, i forgot to mention as well….
    Home Affairs officials, dont know if a British Birth Certificate is ok to use for travel.
    A new regulation was implemented but the staff of Home Affairs seem to be lacking essential information when it comes to dealing with queries of this nature.

    • Thanks Marcelle,

      Your help is most appreciated.

  69. Dear Sir / Madam
    I am a tour operator and will be taking 48 minors and 4 adults on a youth tour in 3 weeks time.
    There will be 3 additional adult leaders employed by my company WITH THESE CHILDREN AT ALL TIMES – 55 in total.
    Each of the minors has the following documentation available on them and I would like to know whether this is ALL they will need:
    * passport
    * visa
    * letter of consent signed by bothe parents with all the detail requested by Home Affairs AND certified by a police officer.
    * form of Home Affairs with the same info as in the Letter of Consent PLUS the names and ID details and addresses of the 3 leaders ON TOUR WITH THESE MINORS – also certified by the police

    Will this be enough? Since the 3 adults leaders will be WITH THESE MINORS all the time I would NOT like the minors to carry a passport copy of each of the leaders WITH THEM – since to me that is a security issue for my adult leaders.

    Waiting to hear from you soon – since we are travelling very soon.
    Thanks

    • Hi Estelle,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I will be e-mailing you at: estelle@tesadventure.com the official release document sent from Home Affairs what is required

      On this form different examples are given with passengers traveling with minors and what is required.

      If you have any further queries it would be best to contact Home Affairs direct and they should be able to answer any questions you might have.

  70. Please leave your comment…hi me and the father we are traveling from South Africa to Mozambique

    • Hi Olivia,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Please let us know what your query is so we can try assist accordingly or point you in the right direction.

  71. Hey,, my son and I want to travel to Mozambique in about 2 time and he’s still 17 but he is going to be 18 on July 31… Does he still need the unabridged certificate because it will be issued after he turns 18..?

    • Hi Martin,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you son is still 18 at the time of travel, he will need to present the Unabridged birth certificate in order to travel to Mozambique.

    • So he will only be able to travel without the Unabridged certificate when he’s 19..?

    • Hi Martin,

      Thanks for the reply. That is correct, he will only be able to travel with out the Unabridged Birth Certificate when he is 19.

    • But the policy says children under 18

    • Hi Martin,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Please can you give a bit more information on how we can assist. I am not sure how to answer your query on the comment you have posted.

  72. Please leave your comment…me and the father of my baby are traveling from South Africa to Mozambique but the father’s name is not in the UBC

    • Hi Olivia,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge if both parents names are not showing on the UBC you will need a supporting document certified by a commissioner of oaths or equivalent commissioning authority as to why the father is not stated on the UBC.

      I suggest you contact Home Affairs they should be able to assist with any questions you might have.

  73. hi there.. my daughter 5 yr old travel with me ( her mother) alone last may 15 2015 ..up to now i still not getting the unabridge from dha in south africa and we still here in philippines but i have the copy of the annexure with me..plus i have her birth certificate from my country with my names and my daugthers fathers name in it..will i be able to go back to south africa anytime ? will her birth certificate be enough? by the way she is born in south africa so she is holding a south african passport and i am using a spouse visa for more than 5 years already..many thanks ..need your response asap 🙂

  74. Hi- Not sure if solution was mentioned above already:
    I am German citizen and I will travel to Germany soon.
    My Daugther (both German and SA citizen) and her mother (SA) will follow me three weeks after my departure.
    I therefore have to prepare an affidavit that gives the mother permission to do so.

    How does such an affidavit look like? Is there a form that can be obtained or must I write it up myself?
    If I have to write it myself, what formulations and information should be in there?
    I guess all Names, ID numbers, traveling dates, destination … anything else?
    Cheers
    SB

    • Hi Stefan,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Please find link below:

      http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/confused-about-unabridged-birth-certificates-this-tool-is-a-life-saver/

      If you scroll to the bottom of the Blog, under “How it works” you will see “Department of Home Affairs” click on this and it will take you to “SOUTH AFRICAN REQUIREMENTS FOR MINORS TAVELLING INTERNATIONALLY”

      If you scroll to the bottom of the page it has the, “Suggested Format: Parental Consent Affidavit (consent for person under the age of 18 to travel to or from the republic of South Africa)

      This should give all the information needed. If you have any other queries you welcome to contact Home Affairs they will be able to answer any further questions you might have.

  75. My kids and I live in SA but are British – my Son (15) wants to cross the boarder on a trip to Namibia soon. I have his British unabridged birth certificate with his old surname on, his ‘Name Change Declaration’ document for his ‘new’ surname (which is about 13 years old now). He was born in 2000 and as I was not married to his father I automatically got sole parental responsibility so never needed to go to court to get this. We haven’t had contact with his father for over 10 years now and have no idea how to get in touch with him.

    How on earth can my son leave the country? I can’t get an affidavit from his father and I can’t get a court order showing sole parental responsibility as we are already here in SA.

    Would proof of the sole parental responsibility law from the UK be enough to show that it is only me that needs to give my permission for him to travel??

    Thanks

    • oh, his old surname was his dad’s surname and his ‘new’ surname is my surname which matches the one on his passport.

    • Hi Sara,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      Proof of the sole parental responsibility from the UK should be enough to show that it’s only you that needs to give permission to travel.

      Please click on the link below:

      http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/confused-about-unabridged-birth-certificates-this-tool-is-a-life-saver/

      Scroll to the bottom and click on “Department of Home Affairs” here you will find a list of examples for minors traveling internationally.

      Number 4 should refer to your situation.

      If you need further assistance or have any other questions it is best to contact Home Affairs direct as one of the agents should be able to answer any queries you might have.

  76. Thank you Marcelle, that was very helpful!

  77. Good day. This is all new to me. I need to find out… When traveling to Namibia from South Africa by car, does my son with an existing passport require an unabridged certificate? He is 10, born 2004.

    • Hi Rudie,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Yes your son of 10 years old will require both document as he is crossing the boarder.

  78. Hi, I was never married to my childrens father, but his name appears on the birth certificates. My son has been invited to play soccer overseas next year and the father refuses to apply for the unabridged certificate and passport. My son is 13 and my daughter 16. Please advise what I can do in this regard.

    Thanks
    Chantelle

    • Hi Chantelle,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I have e-mailed you a document South African Requirements for minors travelling internationally.

      In your case you might need to get an affidavit, however I suggest you contact Home Affairs as they will be able to answer any queries you might have.

  79. Hi, I will be flying with my niece and nephew from Joburg to Durham. What documents do I need?

    • Hi Tess,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If they are under the age of 16 they will need to show their original birth certificates. If they are over 16 they will need to present their original ID document.

      You might need a letter from the parents stating you will be traveling with them. I suggest contacting the airline to see what they say as they will be the ones requesting it.

  80. From Joburg to Durban. Sorry. They are both 13 years old.

  81. I am an American trapped in SA because my daughter has no Birth Certificate. The DHA will not issue us a Birth Certificate. We cannot leave the country. My wife and I entered South Africa, applied for a visa more than 2 years ago. We are still waiting for the outcome of our visa. In the meantime, my wife fell pregnant and we gave birth to a baby girl. We still have not received any outcome from our first visa application. It is presumed lost, but it means that DHA cannot do anything. We’ve been to the DHA countless times to try and get assistance. We received emails from them confirming that they are aware of our case, and that they are working on it. So far, they have been working on it for 2 years. The US Consulate is unable to assist us. At this point our only hope is the SA High Court. Thats at least a year process. Our daughter is nearly 1 year old now, so she will be nearly 2 before we get her out of SA.

    My advice – DO NOT COME TO SOUTH AFRICA. Unless of course you never want to return to your home country. Its a real possibility. If your BC is stolen or you loose it, do not expect DHA to let you back on an airplane. If you need real help from any DHA officials, they will not be able to assist you. They will direct you to another person, then another, and another. None of them will be able to give you any real assistance. You will find yourself with nowhere else to turn but the High Court. Even before the regulations, the DHA was costing taxpayers 46 million rand per year on court fees. That should tell you how frequently they are taken to court – and how frequently they loose.

    The Department of Home Affairs is in complete disarray. Don’t take my word for it – give them a call and see for yourself. They are not trained properly on the new regulations. Again, DO NOT COME TO SOUTH AFRICA. Make plans to vacation elsewhere. Yes, its one of the most beautiful places in the world and the wildlife is amazing. But there are plenty of other places to see animals.

  82. Please leave your comment…hi my baby’s ubc has only my name so when i went to Mozambique they asked for affidavit, i want to know who must write it and say what exactly to the affidavit because the father left me while I was pregnant and he is not in UBC

    • Hi Olivia,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to request the affidavit from the officer of the court or police station.

      It will need to state that you have sole custody of your child. They will know what other important details to put on the affidavit.

      I have e-mailed you the South African Requirements for minors travelling internationally.

  83. Hi, my 15 year old son and I (his biological mother) are travelling from the UK to Botswana on UK travel documents. We are connecting flights at Oliver Tambo Airport with a 2 hour wait. Do we need any of these parental consent affidavit documents? We are applying for a transit visa which will be for a maximum of 24 hours. We have no intention of leaving the airport. I do not know where the child’s father is. He certainly does not live in the UK. He is a Zimbabwean national. He is named on my son’s birth certificate. We bought our tickets way back in February before this was law and did not know anything about this until now. We are due to submit our applications on Monday and travel in 3 weeks’ time.

    • Hi Juliet,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge if you are only in transit in South Africa you should not need the Unabridged Birth Certificate.

      However this could have changed and I suggest you contact South African Home Affairs or the South African Embassy as they will be able to give the most up to date information and answer any queries you might have.

  84. Hi,you said these unabridged birthcertifcate takes up to 8weeks but we applied one last year october even today we still waiting for it,we call tha head office call center they keep on telling us it will come

    • Hi Lee,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Yes the usual waiting time is around 8 weeks. Some do take longer. We have received feedback that some have been waiting since last year.

      This could be cause of a backlog. As we do not have access to these records we suggest you go directly to the Home Affairs and follow up so see where the hold up is.

  85. Hello
    I have a son with a valid passport until 2018. He is needing a USA Visa in order to represent RSA at the World Surfing Games in the USA in October. He is currently 17 and his passport was granted when he was 13. We have applied for the unabridged birth certificate from the Department of Home Affairs. Do I need to apply for an Adult Passport please in order to obtain a visa. I have had such differing views. Thank you

    • Hi Sue, his passport should be a valid regular passport, I don’t think that 4 years ago Home Affairs was issuing special children’s passports. That being said, if you’d feel more comfortable by all means, go ahead an apply for a new passport. However the existing passport should suffice. I would call the Embassy’s call centre and ask their advice too just to get it from the horse’s mouth.

  86. Hi.
    Home affairs issued an UBC with my, (the mother ) maiden surname on it however my passport reflects my married surname. Will I incur any problems and border control?
    We will be travelling as a family. What documents would I need to take along ?

    We received an abridged birth certificate with my married surname on it when my son was born . (So confused as I’m not sure what is required at immigration.)
    Thanks

    • Hi S, if you bring your marriage certificate with you and anything that proves your name change, that should be fine. Basically you’ll just need to prove to immigration that you are the person on the birth certificates, despite having another name now.

  87. I’m taking my niece down to Durban for the holiday to visit her dad.
    Just want to confirm if I do not need any affidavits for flying in South Africa.

  88. I’m taking my niece down to Durban for the holiday to visit her dad.
    Just want to confirm that I do not need any affidavits for flying in South Africa as stated above.

    Don’t want to get there next week and trip unnecessary.

    • Hi Ruuby,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This law only applies to children under the age of 18 travelling in and out of South Africa.

      However we do suggest you contact Home Affairs to get the most up to date information.

  89. I’m a South African residing in UK with SA passport & I have registered my son born June 2015 as South African with my surname without a father on the certificate but after a month I went to re register in UK registrar with the fathers surname and the fathers name in the UK birth certificate, so his South African passport & unabridged certificate has my surname & has no father’s name but the British passport has the fathers surname & the fathers name on the certificate,we have to soon travel to South Africa with the father aswell though.wl I have a problem travel with him to South Africa since he seem to have 2 identities though I’m intending to amend as so as I get to South Africa.The reason it takes ages to do that from UK and I have to travel as soon as possible.

  90. Hi
    My friend is traveling to South Africa with her children without their father and we understand she needs an affidavit (among other thingd) stating that the father is aware and happy for them to enter and leave South Africa.
    Our question is – is an Australian (Queensland) affidavit acceptable?

    • Hi Damien,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge this should be suffice. But I suggest you contact Home Affairs just to double check as they would be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  91. Hi it says in the information for children traveling unsupervised that they need a confirmation letter and the address of the person who lives in south Africa , but my child is flying to Dubai next year so will he need the address , letter and id of the person who he is staying at in Dubai .

    • Hi Christiaan,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are referring to unaccompanied minors, you will need to contact the airline direct to see what all paper work they need from their side.
      To my knowledge both parties dropping off and collecting the unaccompanied minor will need to provide: proof of address, relationship to the passenger and ID book. Their could be further documents or information required. The airline would be able to confirm this.

      If the passenger is under 18 they will also need the following (with regards to Unabridged Birth Certificate)

      Valid Passport; Valid visa, if required; UBC or Equivalent Document; PCA or Letter of Special Circumstances; Letter from the person who is to receive the minor in the Republic, containing his or her residential address and contact details in the Republic where the minor will be residing; Copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the minor in the Republic; and Contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the minor. (This may be contained in the PCA.)

  92. What documentation do I require to take my daughters friend with us to Maldives, both girls is only 9 years old.

    • Hi Elize,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      The below information should be used as a guideline only and we do suggest you contact Home Affairs direct to get the most up to date information.

      Minor accompanied by a person who is not his or her biological parent will need to the followong:

      Valid Passport;
      Valid visa, if required;
      UBC or equivalent document;
      PCA (Parental Consent Affidavit);
      or Letter of Special Circumstances.
      Where a PCA is presented,
      o copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the minor; and
      o contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the minor; and contact details of the person in whose care the minor will be in South Africa.

  93. I’m travelling to Australia with my son. My husband, as he did the last time, wrote a letter stating that he gives me permission to travel with him, is that sufficient still? or do we still need to do an affidavit? Also, do we have to travel with the original unabridged certificate, or is a certified copy good enough?

    Kind regards

    Heidi Ally

    • Hi Heidi,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need an Affidavit stating your husband gives you permission to travel with his / your child to Australia.

      All documents must be either original or copies certified as a true copy of the original by a commissioner of oaths or the equivalent commissioning authority, should commissioners of oath not be a practice in the country concerned.
      The Affidavit must be dated within 4 months of the first arrival or departure travel date. The same affidavit will still be valid for the departure or return in relation to the same journey regardless of the period of the journey. The “first travel” date is the date of first presentation for travel at the POE for a journey that will be completed when the traveller returns or departs to or from the Republic.

  94. Hie,,i am a Zimbabwean n my baby daddy is a South African.we recently went to home affairs in Pretoria to apply for unabridged bc for our 5yrz old baby n we were asked to go n do a DNA test before we apply. So confused plz help

    • Hi Thando,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If Home Affairs have asked for these tests, you would need to go to your nearest hospital to do the necessary and then present the results to Home Affairs before they are able to assist with the necessary documents.

  95. Hi .. I have never traveld over a border before….. Now I want to go to Namibia with my kids we did the passports and the unabridge but it seems it will not be done in time we are leaving on the 13th of December and already paid our holiday. Is there ANYWAY to get the unabridge in time for me to go and not lose al my money……

    • Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Unfortunately the only thing you can do is to keep following up with Home Affairs to see how far along the Unabridged Birth Certificates are.

      They should be able to tell you how long the waiting period is and if they have a back log.

  96. Please leave your comment…hi I’m no longer with my daughter’s father and I’m married 2 sum one else so when I apply 4 da unabridged birth certificate can I put my husband as her father cz she is on hs surname.pls reply soon tnx.

    • Hi Tazz,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You would need to ask Home Affairs when apply if this would be accepted as I think an affidavit would be requested if your current husband is not the actual father.

  97. Good day

    Can you please assist me?
    We are travelling to Mozambique on the 13th of December. I have applied for unabridged birth certificates for 3 of my 4 children on the 31st of Aug 2015, but I have still not received it, according to home affairs they are still busy. They said that they can give me letters stating that I have applied in time for the unabridged and that these letter would be accepted on the border – is that true?

    • Hi Jolene,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I am not sure on this information, and suggest you contact the airline you are traveling with as well as the Embassy to see if this would be accepted as you don’t want any unpleasant surprises at the beginning of your holiday.

  98. Hi.. Will be travelling with 2 yr old daughter from uk to sa.. Her unabridge certificate has my married name..i do have my maiden surmame on as well.. Problem is that im travelling on maiden name passport.. Will that be a problem if i carry marriage certificate as well?

    • Hi Aadila,

      thanks for contacting us.

      I would suggest you get an affidavit stating your married and maiden name and present this along with your marriage certificate and passport.

      I suggest you contact the South Africa Embassy just to make sure and get the most up to date information

  99. I NEED TO TRAVEL WITH MY 15 YEAR OLD SON ON THE 14TH OF DECEMBER ACROSS THE BORDER FOR HOLIDAYS AND MY SON IS STILL WAITING FOR HIS UNABRIDGED BIRTH CERTIFICATE WHICH I APPLIED ON THE 14 TH OF NOVEMBER 2015 ,CAN I USE THE RECEIPT FROM THE HOME AFFAIRS.OR WILL IT BE OUT WHEN I TRAVEL.

    • Hi Brie,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need the actual Unabridged Birth Certificate in order for you and your son to travel internationally.

  100. is there any other way to seed up the process or i must wait ,because my boss booked us for a holiday as a surprise which i knew about on the 13 of November ,what should i do ,

    • Hi Brie,

      I’m afraid you would need to contact Home Affairs direct to see if there is anyway they could speed up the process as they are the ones doing the ones processing the documents.

      Best of luck

  101. My family is planning a trip to Namibia during the April holiday next year. My youngest is 16 years old.
    His biological mother is not responding to any of the requests to apply for a passport. How and where could I apply for a court order to obtain his passport?
    Your help shall be appreciated.

    • Hi Louwrens,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to get a court order / affidavit stating you are not able to get hold of your youngest child’s biological mother.

      Also further documents will be required depending on if you have sole or joint custody. However you will need to contact Home Affairs explain your situation and they will be able to assist and answer any questions you might have.

  102. My daughter born in abroad in 2005, we registered her birth in SA and received a birth certificate and later on SA passport. After endless visits upon application for unabridged birth certificate am told that they can not issue us with unabridged birth certificate, ie. We hace to get it from where she was born.
    I am completely at loss and confused as my daughter is South African with the birtn certificate and her passport was issued by DHA .. I need urgent advise guys we are travelling on the 13th Dec
    Has anyone travelled without one in similar case?

    • Hi Giree,

      If you daughter was born in South Africa you would be able to apply for her UBC here. I would suggest going in to speak to a manager on duty at the DHA as this does sound a bit strange as to why they are not processing a UBC for her. Please keep in mind the processing time of a UBC takes around 6 – 8 weeks.

  103. Hi, my 2 sons were born in South Africa and they have their UBC. My wife and I both have valid Work Permits and intend to travel with our sons to Kenya. They both have Kenyan passports. Do they need their own visas or can they travel on our visas?
    Thanks.

    • Forgot to mention, they are 3 and 1.5 years.

    • Hi Jay,

      The Visa information provided below is not guaranteed. Kindly confirm details with the relevant authorities.

      South Africans visiting Kenya for 30 days or less do not require a visa.
      Those with intention of staying in Kenya for more than 30 days are required to apply for a e-Visa. e-Visa can be applied for via: http://www.ecitizen.go.ke
      Transiting passengers do not need an invitation letter.
      Tourists not employed do not need letter from employer but need to have hotel bookings.
      To my knowledge children traveling on South African passports need to have their own visa’s should they be staying longer than 30 days. However please check with the relevant authorities.
      Delay/Cost Delay: Processing period is strictly five (5) working days
      Cost: Ordinary visa: Free (30 days or less)

      Longer than 30 days: USD50 at point of entry
      When applying at High Commission: R500

      For applicants travelling to or transiting through Kenya. Visa service fees are to be paid at the Kenya High Commission/Embassy premises.

      Requirements
      Passport (valid for 6 months)
      Completed visa application form (download)
      2 passport photographs
      Return air ticket
      Invitation letter from the host in the Republic of Kenya
      Letter from employer/Institution/College/School
      Proof of funds (latest bank statement)
      Yellow fever has been controlled in Kenya but travellers are advised that yellow fever certificates are still required.

  104. Thank you very much Marcelle for your response.
    I am actually Kenyan based in South Africa. My family members are all holders Kenyan passports.
    My wife and I both have South African Visas. Was wondering if our sons would need their own visas or they are allowed to travel on either parent’s.

    • Hi Jay,

      I’m afraid I won’t be able to advise you on Kenyan passport holders as we specialize in South African travellers.

      To my knowledge they would need their own visa’s when traveling to a country where visa’s are required for that passport holder, but I suggest you contact the Embassy who would be able to give the most up to date information.

  105. Thank you very much for your response.
    Good day.

  106. Hi Jay, I am separated from my daughters father and she will be 16 in December. She wants to attend a bible conference abroad and get baptised there. Her father refuses to make contact with either me or herself. We have sent him on several occasions the reasons for applying for her passport. He is not even willing to give a moment of his time to be present at the application for her passport. He feels he pays child support and that’s it, the he does not have to adhere to any of her requests. Nor does he see her, contact or is interested in her well-being but has the power to control her spiritual growth. This is where I do not agree with this Justice System of our country.. Fathers who have restraining orders against them for domestic violence yet they have rights to refuse to sign a document for a conscientious child who just wants to dedicate her life to God at a convention abroad. … where is the freedom of practicing your faith as a child too? How do I get this Justice System to help me…very contradictory and double standards they set.

  107. Hi there.. I am traveling with my son (age 11) to the UK at the end of January 2016.. tickets are book & he will be starting school when we get there, to complete his education.

    I have been a single parent since my son was about 2 years old & the father has pretty much been absent from his life for about 8 years now – he does not contribute towards maintenance, or have anything to do with the upbringing & welfare of my son.
    We also have no idea where or how to get hold of him anymore, to make him aware of our travels & to get his permission for traveling – as his details are on the unabridged birth certificate.

    I would like to have his details removed from the unabridged birth certificate, to make traveling into & out of South Africa simple & effortless.
    The head office of the DHA, has said that this can be done if I send them an affidavit stating why the details need to be removed, as well as a court order to say that I am the sole custodian.
    HOWEVER, this takes a LONG time to complete & because of the Christmas season & businesses closing for the holidays – I’m kind of pressed for time.

    My son & I both have Italian & SA passports & have traveled alone to the USA a couple of times already in the past few years.
    I want to find out if it would it be fine to travel with him now (with the new regulations) with his unabridged birth certificate, a letter from my attorney & affidavit stating that the whereabouts of the biological father are unknown & that I am the biological mother & sole provider for my son, as I have been taking care of him alone since we split up in 2006../

    Would this be sufficient to travel with?

    • Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid I am not able to answer your question, it is best to contact the Department of Home Affairs they will be able to give the most up to date information. Best as you do not want to experience any problems on the day you have to travel.

  108. My sister is a southafrican citizen,her father isbfrom botswana.we have an unveiling on the 26 december 2015 but her little one of 6months does not have a passport but hav a new birth certificate,can she get ETD for him

    • Hi Irene,

      Every passenger traveling across the boarder will need a valid passport no matter the age.

      Home Affairs no longer issue temporary passports, they have discontinued this. Please find link below confirming this:

      http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/notices/719-discontinuation-of-temporary-passports

      If a passenger is 18 years and younger they will need a valid passport as well as their Unabridged Birth Certificate in order for them to travel, along with any other documentation required.

  109. hi just want to know can i take my baby of 9 months over to mozbique…and im the only patlrent she has the father walked away doni still need his primition?and it state that im an singel mother on her birth certificate

    • Hi Christelle,

      Please see below which option would apply to you. Underneath shows which documentation would required. I would also suggest contacting Home Affairs to get the most up to date information. They will also be able to answer any questions you might have.

      PCA = Parental Consent Affidavit
      UBC = Unabridged Birth Certificate

      Option 1:

      Minor accompanied by one parent where parents are neither divorced nor is travelling parent widowed

      * Valid passport; Valid visa, if required; UBC or Equivalent Document; and PCA; or Court order granted in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2005; or Letter of Special Circumstances.
      Note: In the case of single parents, where only one parent’s particulars appear on the UBC or Equivalent Document, no PCA is required. In the case where parents were never married but both parents’ particulars appear on the UBC or equivalent document, the consent of the non-travelling parent is required; In the case of same sex parents appearing on the UBC, it may be accepted (e.g. 2 mothers or 2 fathers).

      Option 2

      Minor travelling with one parent who is divorced or legally separated and who has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights (previously called ―sole custody‖) or full legal guardianship in respect of the minor

      * Valid Passport; Valid visa, if required; UBC or Equivalent Document; Court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights (previously called sole custody) or full legal guardianship in respect of the minor.

      Option 3

      Minor travelling with one parent who is divorced or legally separated and who has been granted specific parental responsibilities and rights (previously called ―joint custody) or legal guardianship in respect of the minor

      * Valid Passport; Valid visa, if required; UBC or Equivalent Document; Court order granting specific parental responsibilities and rights (previously called joint custody) or joint legal guardianship in respect of the minor; and PCA; or Court order granted in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2005; or Letter of Special Circumstances.
      NOTE: Where the accompanying parent presents a PCA and both parents’ names on the UBC correspond with the names on the PCA and the travelling parent’s passport, a court granting specific parental responsibilities and rights or joint legal guardianship may be dispensed with.

      Other important information:

      All documents must be either original or copies certified as a true copy of the original by a commissioner of oaths or the equivalent commissioning authority, should commissioners of oath not be a practice in the country concerned.
      2. The Affidavit must be dated within 4 months of the first arrival or departure travel date. The same affidavit will still be valid for the departure or return in relation to the same journey regardless of the period of the journey. The “first travel” date is the date of first presentation for travel at the POE for a journey that will be completed when the traveller returns or departs to or from the Republic. Minors who started their journey before 1 June 2015 would not be required to produce the documents if the return leg thereof takes place after 1 June 2015.
      3. Different combinations of the travel cases could occur, e.g. when dealing with a minor accompanied by a person who is not his or her biological child, the requirements relating to
      divorced or deceased parents must also be taken into account, where applicable. Minors accompanying school tours must also be dealt with in terms of this category of travellers.
      4. The following types of Court Orders may be granted:
      a) Court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights (previously called “sole custody“) or legal guardianship in respect of the minor: In this instance the consent of the other parent is not required;
      b) Court order in which both parents are granted responsibilities and rights in respect of the minor: The consent of the other parents is required; and
      c) Court orders that are silent on the parental responsibilities and rights: The consent of the other parent is required.
      5. Visas
      a) Where a child applies for a visa inside South Africa or at a South African embassy abroad it shall be standard practise for all supporting documents to be submitted prior to the visa being issued.
      b) Should authentic visas be produced by the minor but any other supporting documents be unavailable, it may be assumed that all supporting documents have been provided.
      6. Exceptions
      a) Diplomatic/consular representatives accredited in South Africa travelling with his or her children: – An accreditation card issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) containing the particulars of the children may be accepted in lieu of the supporting documents. Where such a child is travelling unaccompanied or with the other parent who is not a diplomat the same card may be produced;
      b) A UBC should not be required in the case of countries that endorse the particulars of parents in children’s passports, e.g. India;
      c) Minors accompanying VIPs where Protocol Officer is present at POE. (No supporting documents will be required in these cases);
      d) No supporting documents will be required by persons in direct transit at an International Airport.

  110. Since the government implemented this crazy visa regulations tourism in the Kruger has dropped dramatically! Great Video Nick… 🙂

  111. Hi
    Hi
    Any advice with be greatly appreciated… We are due to travel to SA from the UK in March, I have my daughter UBC, however I have had no contact from her biological father who is on the UBC. When I spoke to the SA Embassy, they told me I needed a Court Order showing sole custody. I have spoken to a solicitor in the UK who has advised that that is not really something the UK courts issue. Will a child arrangement order suffice?

    • Hi Toni,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      To our knowledge you would need a court order / affidavit showing you have sole custody and allowed to travel with your child.

      I could not advise if a child arrangement order will be suffice. For this you will need to contact the Embassy direct to see what they advise.

      Best of luck

  112. very happy with the new law!
    My friend is from Lebanon and his wife is South African and she kidnapped his daughter and ran to South Africa since 2011, since then he didn’t see his child.. This is the best way to safe children from any parent or others..
    Best way to safe childrens!

  113. What documents do we need to have for our grandchild (Age 3) to accompany us on a domestic flight to go on holiday? Both his biological parents will not be accompanying us. The flight will be between Johannesburg and George, SA.

    • Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are traveling domestically (only within South Africa) your grandchild will not need to travel with an unabridged birth certificate. However you will need to provide a certified copy of his or her bridged birth certificate.

  114. Hi…. My daughter turned 18….. But still has a child passport which is valid for 3 more years..

    Will she still be able to travel on the child passport

    • Hi Asish,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge this would not be possible as an 18 year old is considered an adult.

      However you welcome to contact Home Affairs direct to get the most up to date information.

  115. Hi…I’m moving abroad soon and my wife and children will come visit me every few months, the first visit being probably 6 months from now. How do I get the affidavit sorted out, DHA says the affidavit can’t be more than 3 months old and I’m not even sure how often they’ll visit before relocating to join me.

    • Hi Lwazi,

      You can go to a lawyer to get the affidavit however I suggest contacting the DHA they should be able to give you the most up to date information as they specialize in this area.

  116. Please leave your comment…h
    hi im 17 years and i need a south african passport ASAP…my mother works far as for my dad i dont know him,should i bring my mothers certified copy of her ID book since she’s far???

    • Hi Nthabeleng,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      It’s best to contact the Department of Home Affairs before going in, to see all the documents which they require when you apply for your passport.

      This will save you a lot of time and back and forth.

  117. Hello
    i will be flying with my children (2 & 4) domestically in south africa. What documentation will we require for the children?

    • Hi Rijk,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Children flying domestically will need to fly with their original birth certificate. This needs to be presented at check-in along with their air ticket.

  118. Hi, my daughter is 2 and a half and will be flying to Johannesburg for the first time. Will she be allowed to sit in my lap as she is timid and will be afraid to sit on her own seat.

    • Hi Dee,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid a child 2 years and older will need to occupy their own seat. After take off and the seat belt sign has been switched off I would think its ok to have her on your lap. But anytime the seat belt sign is switched on she will need to be in her own seat.

      This also means she will need to pay the child fare and not the infant fare.

  119. I think foreign travelers understand, all of this to stop human trafficking. We haven’t experienced a drop in bookings since this new law.

  120. Hi,
    Do these rules apply if Johannesburg is just a stop off? I will not be leaving the airport when we get to it other than to fly to Malawi?

    • Hi Laulsy,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If passengers are crossing the borders of South Africa they will need to abide by these rules.

      For any questions related to adults traveling with minors they will need to contact Home Affairs who will provide them with the most up to date information on what documentation will be required.

  121. Hi may a child under the age of 18 travel alone without someone receiving them on the other side?

    • Hi Dohann,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If a child is traveling internationally they will need all the necessary documents like UBC and relevant letters etc.

      You will need to contact the airline the passenger is traveling with they will be able to provide you with all the documents they require

  122. My husband had imagrated to the UK fromSA. Both his parents are British and had his birth registerd both in SA and the UK. He has his social security no so now is a national.we applied for British passports for the girls but we’re denied as he gets his nationality from his dad and it does not extend to his children. I have a certified letter from him staring I can travel to uk with girls can I use this to apply for their south afrikan passports without my husband being present. Doeshe have to come home to apply and what would be the best way for us to get there what visa do I need.?

    • Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialize in this area and would suggest you contact Home Affairs. To my knowledge he would not need to be present as long as he has signed all the relevant documents.

      However for any passport or visa related queries it is best you contact Home Affairs and the official visa handling agency Teleperformance. They will be able to assist and answer any questions you might have.

  123. Hi I am single mother in UK my child has an UBC with just my name in I was raped dicided to keep the pregnancy so where do I get a father’s letter

  124. I have read these DHA they don’t include single parents whose names are the only name in a child’s birth certificate

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Minor accompanied by one parent where parents are neither divorced nor is travelling parent widowed

      The following would be required:

      Valid passport; Valid visa, if required; UBC or Equivalent Document; and PCA; or Court order granted in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2005; or Letter of Special Circumstances.
      Note: In the case of single parents, where only one parent’s particulars appear on the UBC or Equivalent Document, no PCA (Parental Consent Affidavit) is required. In the case where parents were never married but both parents’ particulars appear on the UBC or equivalent document, the consent of the non-travelling parent is required; In the case of same sex parents appearing on the UBC, it may be accepted (e.g. 2 mothers or 2 fathers).

      For any other questions you welcome to contact Home Affairs direct. They will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  125. What must I do my wife travell 2 Cape town from Zimbabwe with my Son without my knowledge and my son does not have a permition to cross the border coz he don’t have a passport? Please help I need my son back home he is under age?

    • Hi Ace,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialize in this area. For this you will need to get legal advise on this matter.

      Sorry that we are not able to provide you with further information.

  126. Hello,

    Are you able to advise in the case of countries that have an official ID/Citizen Card that has the parents names?
    Portugal has a citizen card with both mine and my husband’s names on both of our daughters IDs? I was told by the Portuguese embassy that this suffices and replaces the birth certificates, as it is an official ID, it has our names as parents and we will both travel with them. Anyone has experienced a similar situation?

  127. I can afidevit with police station to travel wit my baby I don’t have birth certificate to my baby

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