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New South African Immigration Laws And Their Impact On Traffic

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New South African Immigration Laws and their Impact on Traffic

Wynand Meyer | - 08/02/2015
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Planning and Operating

New immigration laws to protect citizens and improve lives were implemented in South Africa on the 26th May, 2015. They are intended to help curb child trafficking across South African borders and ensure the safety of children when they travel. However, many feel these will have a negative impact on the South African travel industry and economy. The concern is that these regulations will deter tourists from travelling to South Africa, particularly since the sole responsibility to ensure all the relevant documentation is in hand before travelling now lies with the tourist. It is no longer possible to just decide to take a detour and fly to South Africa for a quick visit. It’s imperative that you have the correct documentation with you; namely a passport, an unabridged birth certificate or the correctly certified documentation from the relevant authorities otherwise you will not be allowed enter the country and will be deported.

The Immigration Act 2002, was amended in 2007/2011, giving South Africa the new Immigration Act 2007/2011. The amended Act came into force with the Immigration Act of 2014 and came into operation in May.  The new laws have changed how one travels into and out of South Africa, especially concerning minors. These changes are detailed below:

Travelling In and Out of South Africa with Children

Two parents Travelling with a Child

Requirements:
  • Parents must produce a computerized unabridged Birth Certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents
  • In the case of adopted children, parents must provide proof of adoption through an adoption certificate

“Explanatory note:

These regulations apply to all travellers, both foreign and South African on departure and arrival

In a situation where a foreign country does not issue unabridged birth certificates, a letter to this effect issued by the national authorities must be produced

All documents must be original or certified copies by a commissioner of oaths or the equivalent commissioning authority of the country in question”


One Parent Traveling with a Child

Requirements:
  • A lone parent must produce a computerized unabridged Birth Certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parentage of the child
  • Consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as registered on the child’s birth certificate authorizing him or her to enter or depart the Republic with the child
  • A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship of the child, if the other parent is the legal guardian of the child
  • Where applicable, the death certificate of the other parent
  • Legally separated parents should also provide a court order when the other parent does not give consent
  • Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased, and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.

Explanatory note:

The affidavit must not be older than three months from the date of travel


 

A Person Travelling with a Child who is not their Biological Child

Requirements:
  • A copy of the computerized unabridged birth certificate of the child
  • An affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child
  • Copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child
  • The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased, and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic

A minor traveling alone

Requirements:
  • Proof of consent from one of or both his or her parents or legal guardian in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from the Republic
  • A letter from the person who is to receive the child containing his or her residential address and contact details of where the child will be residing during his or her stay
  • A copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child
  • The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child

A Child in Alternative Care as defined In The Children’s Act, 2005

(Act No. 38 of 2005)

Requirements:
  • Before departing from the Republic, produce a certified copy of an authorization letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides as contemplated in section 169 of the Children’s Act

Explanatory note:

This Regulation has been in force since May 2014


Note: If you are travelling to South Africa contact the authorities and ensure you have what you require to travel to South Africa.

See the following website for assistance http://www.dha.gov.za

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