What are the regulations for families travelling with children to South Africa?

As of November 2019 children travelling on passports of visa-exempt countries will only require a valid passport to enter/exit South African ports of entry (birth certificates will no longer be a requirement for them), as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Regulations for families travelling with children to South Africa

Children in possession of a valid South Africa visa are not required to produce the documents already submitted as part of their visa applications.

South African minors are required to present a copy of their birth certificate/equivalent document* or passport containing the details of their parents. For more details, please consult http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/621-advisory-new-requirements-for-children-travelling-through-south-african-ports-of-entry-effective-1-june-2015

Please note that stricter requirements may need to be adhered to in South Africa’s neighbouring countries.

Exceptions (applicable to holders of South African as well as foreign visa-exempt passports)

If the minor is travelling unaccompanied, they must have in their possession:

  • A valid passport
  • copy of his /her birth certificate
  • parental consent letters
  • copy of the passport(s)/identity document(s) of the parent(s) / legal guardian(s)
  • contact details of the parent(s)/ legal guardian(s)
  • letter from the person who is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his / her residential address and contact details in the Republic where the child will reside
  • copy of the identity document / valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic
  • where applicable,
    – copy of an adoption order
    – copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent/ parents or legal guardian;
    – copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child

Minors in alternative care (i.e. foster care, temporary safe care or in a youth care centre following a court order) need in their possession:

  • A valid passport
  • A letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides authorising their departure from the Republic as contemplated in section 169 of the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005)


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