New Laws When Travelling With Kids

New Laws When Travelling With Kids

All travellers need to be aware of new regulations governing travel with minors, which are aimed at combating child trafficking.

The new regulations include strict procedures for parents travelling with children under the age of 18 years in and out of South Africa.

With effect from 1 October, 2014, all adults travelling with children will need to produce a copy of an unabridged birth certificate for each child they are travelling with, among other documents.

“The intentions behind the gazetted immigration regulations reflect South Africa’s commitment to contributing to global efforts to combat child trafficking,” said Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom.

The new rules take into account the following:

One parent travelling with a child

In instances where one parent is travelling with a child for any reason, whether as a single parent, or merely in the absence of the other parent, the following documents must be produced for immigration officials:

  • A copy of an unabridged birth certificate;
  • An affidavit from the other parent or legal guardian of the child, confirming their consent for the accompanying adult to travel with the child;
  • Single parents are required to produce a court order (and not just an affidavit) granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he/she is the parent or legal guardian of the child; and
  • If applicable, a death certificate of a deceased parent must be produced.

Adult travelling with a child who is not his/her biological child

We live in a society of extended family and there are many instances where adults may need to travel with children who are not their biological children. This could be for family, school or religious reasons. In instances where an adult is travelling with a child who is not his/her biological child, the following documents must be produced for immigration officials:

  • A copy of an unabridged birth certificate;
  • An affidavit from the parents or legal guardians of the child, confirming their consent for the accompanying adult to travel with the child;
  • Copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardians of the child; and
  • Contact details of the parents or legal guardians of the child.

Where one or two adults are travelling with a large group of children, the adults must have these documents for each child travelling.

An unaccompanied minor

Even though a child of 16 or 17 can travel comfortably on their own from one country to another, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) requires that an unaccompanied minor produce the following documents to the immigration officials:

  • Proof of consent from one or both his/her parents or legal guardian, in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from South Africa;
  • In the case where one parent provides proof of consent, that parent must also provide a copy of a court order issued to him/her in terms of which he/she has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child;
  • A letter from the person who is to receive the child in the destination country, containing his/her residential address and contact details where the child will be residing;
  • A copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the destination country; and
  • The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child in the country of origin.

It is important to note that these new regulations apply to all parents with children under the age of 18, irrespective whether both parents are a travelling with the child or not, to both South African passport holders and non-South African passport holders travelling in and out of South Africa.

For more information on the matter, visit the Department of Home Affairs’ website www.dha.gov.za

 

Originally posted here.

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