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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.

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.)

Comments (128)

  • AndyGWP says:

    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)

    • AndyGWP says:

      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 🙂

  • nick says:

    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

  • Bach says:

    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?

  • ahop says:

    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.

  • Ehosin says:

    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?

    • Rob says:

      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.

      • Nathan says:

        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.

    • david says:

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

      • Rob says:

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

  • S**mo says:

    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?

    • S**mo says:

      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.

      • Max says:

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

        • Crafty says:

          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.

        • John says:

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

      • S**mo says:

        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.

      • Crafty says:

        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.

  • Mark2 says:

    just received an email from Amex about ShopSmall but only encouraging me to patronise small shops. Let’s hope that the encouragement becomes more practical in December as in previous years.

    • Shoestring says:

      Given it’s Oct 1st on Monday, I guess Amex will communicate Shop Small very soon (if it’s on)

      • Scallder says:

        Had a quick look on Wednesday for my local area and there a couple of new places on there (also highlighted as new) on the map, so hopefully they’ll be doing it again!

  • Shoestring says:

    Having gone from a Nectar point spurner to a Nectar collector, I will soon have something like 45000 Nectar points (+ obvs 36000 MR points & the free PP lounge entry).

    I was thinking of using my N points to buy one of the Halfords trail bikes (mountain/ hybrid) on Ebay.

    I think 45000 N points gets me (500 N points = £2.50) = £225.

    One of the Carreras? Any thoughts? Just trail use, not commuting or roads.

    • Tom1 says:

      I bought a Carrera Vulcan earlier this year for the same purpose – light trails only!
      I knew absolutely nothing, so maybe you know this already, but common Advice i got after visiting lots of bike shops…
      – Look for hydraulic brakes “best invention on a bike for 20 years”
      – 29″ wheels (29ers) – bigger wheels better for going over potholes etc they span the gap more easily but not absolutely necessary.
      – suspension – actually makes it more difficult to ride on flat roads as your energy gets sapped by the suspension. So better to get one with ‘lock out’ which is basically an on/off switch

      Halfords RRP for their bikes are well over inflated. So would suggest you wait for a sale.

      Can also find 10% off voucher for Halfords that you can combine with your vouchers and the sale offers. Let me know if you need to know where to look.

      Staff at Halfords were very mixed. Weekend staff were generally rubbish – but if you can spot the bike ‘techs’ they were very helpful and not very commercially minded – telling exactly what was and wasn’t worth it.

      • Shoestring says:

        There’s a trick you can use to get about 30% off @ Halfords proper – but my point is to use up my N points and I think Ebay is one of the best places. Not sure how easy it is to actually use them for something decent otherwise. Thx for endorsement of Carrera. So far this week I have done 3x 12 miles on the same trail, today as well, all on my wife’s bike since I bust my own about 18 months ago. Aluminium (good), small for me (bad) and purple (tasty).

        • Crafty says:

          If you’re using them up at 0.5p why not just spend them on grocery shops?

          • Rob says:

            That was my thought. Get the bike cheaper online and use the points elsewhere. I’ve found I’m using mine for train tickets these days, because I can order a voucher code in 30 seconds via the Nectar website, it pops up immediately and I can immediately cut and paste it into the East Coast website.

        • John says:

          Might not live close to Sainsburys

        • Shoestring says:

          Ignorance. I haven’t really checked out N points as they were so useless in the past. Now I find 45,000 have fallen into my/ our hands and it feels like free money; I need a bike.

          Yep – I should treat them like any loyalty currency, you’re right.