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Home Affairs relaxes requirements for children travelling

The Department of Home Affairs has eased the requirements for children travelling in and out of the country.

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The revised conditions came into effect beginning of December.

The department’s spokesperson David Hlabane says certain categories of child travellers will be exempt from having to present supporting documents at ports of entry.

Hlabane urged parents to carry these documents anyway, just to be on the safe side. 

"The more beneficial will be if you look at from the angle of foreign travellers coming into the country. For example, in the case of people visa required countries there is no longer anything for them to bring along supporting documentation when they bring children into South Africa, reason being that they would have already provided the supporting documents like birth certificates when they were applying for their visa's to travel," Hlabane says.

Hlabane says children, who are foreign nationals from countries where visas are not required, may be asked to produce supporting documents upon entry.

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"Even though producing supporting documents is no longer compulsory, travellers are strongly advised to carry the supporting documents," he adds.

Hlabane says for children who will be travelling abroad, maybe asked for supporting documents at the arriving areas.

He says children with passports detailing their parents name will not need to have birth certificates.

"We will still require documentation be provided when travelling with children. For example where one parent is travelling we still need a letter of consent from other parent who is not travelling, particularly in those cases where the other parent appears in the birth certificate."

These requirements are meant to give effect to the Children’s Act, 2005 which stipulates that minors travelling in or out of the country must do so with the consent of both parents.

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