Traveller24.com | UPDATE: As new child travel rules take effect, non-compliant 'parents won't be placed on the initial flight home&amp back;#039;

Traveller24.com | UPDATE: As new child travel rules take effect, non-compliant 'parents won't be placed on the initial flight home&amp back;#039;

Changes have officially been designed to South Africa’s rules for child travellers, however being “strongly advised to transport the supporting documents” still remains a contentious phrase for travelling parents.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) confirmed the revised conditions are actually in effect by 1 December 2018, prior to the yuletide season when many parents and families will be going on christmas with children. 



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The DHA says Travel requirements for children have already been changed in the national government Gazette titled “Draft First Amendment of the Immigration Regulations, 2014 made beneath the Immigration Act” relative to the a number of the Cabinet approved reforms to the visa regime and so are consistent with economic recovery plan and stimulus announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in September 2018.    

READ: British High Commissioner to SA visits a police station six times per year because of SA’s ‘off-putting’ visa rules for children

“Right from the start of December 2018, certain types of child travellers will be exempt from presenting supporting documents at ports of entry. However, travellers are urged to transport these documents since they may be requested using instances.” 

While the confusion remains for this, the department says it really is confident that the immigration officials that are set to implement these noticeable changes, have already been trained to learn when to request these supporting documents.

According to South African Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, the training will be essential, as may be the have to have checks and balances set up at SA’s tips of entry.  

Speaking to Traveller24 at the recent World Travel and Tourism Council’s inauguration Africa Leaders forum on 23 November Hanekom stated, “If the immigration official isn’t content with the documentation presented, it generally does not mean returning on the initial flight home…the traveller will be given adequate possibility to have the documentation without just being shipped out.” 

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The amendments here are outlined as.

For travellers arriving at South Africa: 

  • Children that are foreign nationals from countries where visas are needed won’t need to carry supporting documents. The reason being they would have already been necessary to provide these through the visa application process.
  • Children that are foreign nationals from countries where visas aren’t required could be asked to create supporting documents upon entry. Though producing supporting documents is not any longer compulsory even, travellers should carry the supporting documents strongly.
  • In the case of countries that endorse the particulars of parents in children’s passports, or other official identification documents, these documents will be sufficient to determine the identity of the parents of the travelling minor.

For South Africans leaving the united states: 

  • South African children travelling abroad could be requested to create supporting documents at ports of entry.
  • Children with passports detailing parents’ names shall not be asked to carry birth certificates when travelling. Furthermore, a parental affidavit could be required.
  • These requirements are designed to give effect to the Children’s Act, 2005 which stipulates that minors travelling in or from the country should do so with the consent of both parents.

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