Legal requirements traveling with minors cross border

Important Notice When Travelling With Minors Cross Border

1. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRAVEL THROUGH A PORT OF ENTRY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

1.1 Where both parents are travelling accompanied by one or more of their children, such children have to produce:

Valid passports and an UBC [Unabridged Birth Certificate] or Equivalent Document for each child travelling.

1.2. Where only one parent is travelling with a child, (or children), each child has to produce:

A valid passport, an UBC or Equivalent Document for each travelling child and the Parental Consent Affidavit from the non-travelling parent whose details are recorded on the UBC or Equivalent Document.

1.3. An unaccompanied minor has to produce:

A valid passport; an UBC or Equivalent Document; Parental Consent Affidavit; letter from the person who is to receive the minor in the Republic containing such person’s residential and work address and full contact details in the Republic, a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the minor in the

Republic.

1.4. A person who is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, such child must produce:

A valid passport, an UBC or Equivalent Document and Parental Consent Affidavit. These requirements apply also to children travelling with school groups.

1.5. A child in alternative care shall produce:

A valid passport and a letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides authorising his or her departure from the Republic as contemplated in section 169 of the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005).

1.6. Explanatory Notes:

One of the following documents may be presented in the absence of a Parental Consent Affidavit referred to above:

  • A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or full legal guardianship of the child exclusively to the travelling parent;
  • A court order granted in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2015, (Act No. 38 of 2005) which is a court order granting permission for the child to travel in the event that there is a dispute or no consent forthcoming from the parent/s of a child; or
  • A death certificate of the deceased parent.
  • Where only one parent’s particulars appear on the UBC or equivalent document, no parental consent affidavit is required when that parent travels with the child.
  • In the case of divorce, where custody of a child/children is shared, parental consent by both parents is required.
  • Where a Parental Consent Affidavit is presented, also required are full contact details and copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
  • The consent of parents recorded as such on the Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document shall be required regardless of the marital status of the parents of the child.

2. INABILITY TO CONSENT DUE TO RECENT DEATH OR MENTAL OR PHYSICAL DISABILITY:

2.1. Where any parent/s recorded in an UBC, or equivalent document, are unable to consent to the travel by a child due to recent death, or mental or physical disability, persons acting on behalf of the child/children may apply for a special dispensation in lieu of the parental consent affidavit by directing a request and full motivation, together with all supporting documents (example, treating medical practitioners certificate), to the Office of the Director-General of Home Affairs, at the following e-mail address: consent@dha.gov.za

2.2. Explanatory Note:

This dispensation only applies to incapacity, and does not apply where a parent is either unwilling to consent or unable to be located due to separation or divorce.

Where a parent refuses to give consent, a court order in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), may be presented in lieu of such parental consent.

[Information kindly provided by Intercape]

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