The following update regarding travelling with children in and out of South Africa was just released by DHA. We wish to summarize it as follows:
More than a year since the introduction of the first onerous Visa Regulations in June last year, an Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced changes to the regulations, tremendous news for the Tourism industry.
With regard to the travelling of children Cabinet approved four processes:
1. Travelling with children from visa exempt countries (UK, USA, Germany, etc.): NO birth certificate required anymore, but it is advised that parents take identification in addition to passports with in particular if one parent is only travelling. Despite being recommended, we advise parents from such countries that they will not be required to take birth certificates with. However, if one parent is travelling at least consent from the other parent would be advisable.
2. Travelling with children from visa restricted countries (India, Russia, China, etc.): Because such applicants must apply for a visa before, parents will still have to provide birth certificates. DHA and Cabinet is of the opinion that it is international norm to provide a birth certificate, so there is no change.
3. Unaccompanied minors: Requirements regarding unaccompanied minors will remain, like providing copies of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive an unaccompanied minor.
4. South African parents travelling outbound with their children: Child-travel requirements for outbound travelling will stay, including proof of parental relations through unabridged birth certificates, and, as necessary, parental consent. Thus, there is no change.
An additional part of the statement mentions, although very vague, a very important change for applicants from the countries Russia, China and India.
In particular Russia and China did not have VFS offices so far. Applicants had to submit their visa, long and short term ones, personally at the SA mission. In case of Russia in Moskow.
Here the DHA statement indicates that they will open the door for accredited travel agencies in these countries to apply for Tourist Visa on behalf of the applicants. Thus, at least for tourist, eliminating the requirement of personal submission.
Because this recent change is only designed and aimed at supporting the suffering Tourism Industry in South Africa, the statement does not indicate any change in these countries for long term visa.
We will monitor the developments and as usual will update you.
For any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact IBN.