South Africa overhauls its ludicrous visa rules for children

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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.

South Africa relaxes visa rules for children

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

and either

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

You can find out more on the changes hereBritish Airways confirms what I wrote above on here.

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.  (EDIT: there is some discussion in the comments about the need for two blank pages and, whilst you will read both versions on official websites, the view is that one blank page is enough.)

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  1. I have a UK passport with lots of blank pages, none say ‘visa’ or anything else at the top. Can anyone confirm that it will meet South Africa requirements?

    • I don’t think that any UK passport versions have this, so I assume you must be OK – as long as you have blank pages outside of the endorsements bit.

  2. OT. Any recommendations for top quality hotel in Malta for October. Ideally looking for somewhere close to see rather than in town. Many thanks.

    • Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands every time!

      • Slight bias as they’re a client but 100% on Golden Sands. No question for me, been a bunch of times to a bunch of properties on the Island

    • Depends on how you categorise “top quality” what your preferences are, and whether you’re allied to a particular chain (loyalty benefits etc). You’re limited to a reasonable number of mid-range hotels on the Island. Intercontinental is in the town, Hilton is close-by, but based in a Marina (Portomaso). There are two Radisson properties, Golden Sands is beach/seaside, whereas the St Julian’s is on the coast, but no beach access (rocky). Westin Dragonara is coastal, next to the Hilton again, limited rocky beach here.
      Based on your limited scope, I’d say the Radisson at Golden sands seems to suit your requirements.

  3. Just to follow up on my comment yesterday about the hotel indigo lower east side and their destination fees, emailed them and they have come back overnight and agreed with my comments and credited them back. Just at the same time I got a survey from them on my recent stay!

  4. OT: Offer on Lufthansa app for 5x bonus miles up to 50000 between Europe and North America. Economy only I think.

  5. South Africa. The way I read the new rules, they are only relaxed for foreign passport holders. So my kids, dual nationals who enter on SA passports, still need everything…

  6. OT: on edge now about all things MCC related now, but has anyone paid AudiFinance (or VWFinance similar) with a Credit Card (NOT Curve) recently. Will it / should it be classed as a ‘financial-like transaction’ on a normal (specifically Virgin Money in this case!) Credit Card attracting a fee?

    I can’t really do a test as it only lets me do a full amount, but hoping someone has a good inkling as to how these things are treated.

    Historically (back in January) I have paid on my Lloyds Mastercard but the app doesn’t give me a description for the type of transaction (maybe because it was so long ago)

    • Update (to my badly worded original post!) is that the AudiFinance won’t accept my Virgin Credit Card, so not an option (unless presumably I push it through via. Curve) which I could do with preserving my £50k limit on. Not to worry 🙂

  7. OT: anyone passing thru a Dixons Store in Duty Free:

    could you confirm price of the new iphone xs max – 64GB and 256GB variants?

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Phone them and they’ll tell you. Whether they have any stock is a different issue. At Gatwick when the X came out they told me none would be available for several months : so that should be your question 2

  8. OT – Reg IHG accelerate. My second stay didn’t count for “earn double points starting with your second stay”. Only counted from my 3rd stay. What’s the best way to complain to IHG to get this corrected?

  9. OT: On my last 3 BA flights (2 CW and 1 First) there have been catering issues. Running our of drinks, no breakfast was loaded on one flight, no desserts on another.

    I have been offered a take it or leave it 3,000 avios. Has anyone experienced anything different in similar situations?

    • Shoestring says:

      Sounds a very mean offer for CW/ first. Also sounds like you rolled them all together. I’d start again and claim them separately.

  10. This may be controversial – I am struggling to see how £1850 represents an excellent deal – for me it is an eye-watering amount of money! Is it relatively excellent compared to what the usual prices are, or excellent in terms of the product supplied for the price?

    • What do you consider a fair price for Business Class to Australia?

      We’re talking about 48 hours in the air (more, admittedly, with Garuda). Even in a sale, you’d pay at least £1300 for Business Class from London to New York which is only 12 hours in the air.

      Economy would be £1000 return in January – I just did a search and can only find £996 in Economy on a day when Garuda is offering £1850 in Business – and do you really want 48 hours in a tiny seat vs a flat bed? The extra frequent flyer miles for Business vs Economy are probably worth £200 for a start.

      • Hi Rob,
        I had the same thought as Ehosin initially. I think the issue is that without clicking through to Garuda’s website, the story didn’t mention we’re talking about Business Class. I only realised when you mentioned it in your comment.

        As you say though £1,850 for Business class London-Sydney is great value.

    • Eye watering if you dont have the funds, like us. Eye pleasing for those with a lot of wonga (not payday loan btw).

      • The way the article was originally written did not make clear it was Business Class, hence the comment.

  11. OT // Spend £500 or more, get £100 back on Hilton (Amex Plat) – Offer ends 30/09
    Save to Card to get a £100 statement credit on eligible spend of £500+ in participating hotel(s) at Hilton properties in the US by 30/9/2018.

    Anybody know if this will work on advanced rates? i.e pay now?

      Statement credit will only be rewarded if the spend threshold is met. Should the amount charged not meet the spend threshold due to a fluctuation in the exchange rate the statement credit will not be rewarded.

      Offer valid on checkout spend only.

      Book and pay by the offer end date.

      • Is it the same with the £150 Europe offer? Has anyone booked a prepaid rate and got the MR points?

        • Generally I have found that in the UK prepaid rates are fine and in the US they are not. I can’t speak for mainland Europe.

        • In the US they are charged centrally and everywhere else the hotel charges.

      • Yup – It didn’t work…. oh well! – Wanted to stay there anyway! 🙂

    • Travel Strong says:

      If you can get the front desk to take a card prepayment over the phone, it’s very likely to work. I got the credit when getting the front desk to charge via a credit card authorisation form emailed over… but my circumstances were different, I wasn’t just trying to pay in advance to get the credit.

      • What was your excuse, out of interest? I’m trying this tomorrow, telling them I want to pay early because my employer has a long expenses cycle.

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