DHA scraps birth certificate rule for foreign children entering South Africa

Good news for foreigners travelling to South Africa with minor children – it is no longer necessary to provide birth certificates, consent letters and other supporting documents when entering or leaving South Africa.

A waiver to the previous rule, signed by Home Affairs Minister Mostoaledi, came into effect on 8 November 2019.

SA Tourism welcomes the decision

It is not just foreigners who are delighted by the news of the waiver. South African Tourism (SA Tourism) is pleased too, especially as the waiver comes just in time for the holiday season.

Speaking to IOL, acting CEO Sthembiso Dlamini said “The news will certainly be welcomed by all in the tourism industry, both in South Africa and around the world. In all our markets, family travel is a key driver for arrivals and we compete with many other destinations for the share of family travel. The waiver announcement will allow us to proactively and aggressively market South Africa as a family friendly destination again.”

South African children and unaccompanied foreign children still need to provide supporting documents

It is important to note that the waiver does not apply to South African children or unaccompanied foreign children. Such children must still present the relevant supporting documents at South Africa’s borders.

We’ll recommend that temporary and permanent residents do the same when travelling to or from South Africa with minor children. In our experience, some residents still run into trouble at border posts when unable to present all documents. This is despite the fact that residents technically don’t have to show certain documents.

Here’s our advice, based on previous experience

Unfortunately, miscommunication about new legislation does sometimes happen between different departments and on-the-ground officials. Especially during peak tourist season when airports and border control points are busy!

Our advice is thus to continue carrying all supporting documents when travelling to and from South Africa this festive season to ensure that your holiday plans aren’t unnecessarily disrupted.