In an attempt to reverse a decline in tourism, South Africa is to scrap the incredibly restrictive rules on tourists who wish to travel to the country with children.
At present, it is tricky to enter South Africa with a child even if both parents are travelling. We covered this story back in 2015. If only one parent is travelling then you might as well not bother. If one of your children is actually your step-child, then forget it.
These are the rules in place today. Note the requirement for an affidavit – a simple letter will not suffice – and the unabridged, not short form, version of the birth certificate:
Where both parents are travelling with a child who is under 18:
All parents travelling with children under the age of 18 to or from South Africa must produce an unabridged birth certificate of each child which shows details of the parents of the child.
Where one parent is travelling with a child, they must produce:
an unabridged birth certificate
consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate, authorising them to enter or depart from South Africa with the child
a court order granting them full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship or where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate
Where an adult is travelling with a child, who is not their biological child, they must produce:
a copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child
an affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that they have permission to travel with the child
copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child
Children travelling alone must produce:
consent from one or both of the parents/legal guardian in the form of a letter or affidavit, for the child to travel into or depart from South Africa. If only one parent is able to provide proof of consent they must also have a copy of a court order granting the full parental responsibilities
a letter from the person who is to receive the child in South Africa, containing their residential address and the contact details where the child will be residing
a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in South Africa
contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child
Unfortunately there is no sign of the rule over the number of consecutive blank pages required in your passport being changed. At present you must have two consecutive fully blank pages and they must be marked ‘Visas’ at the top. Any page marked Endorsements, Amendments or Observations does not count.