South Africa is becoming more accessible for traveling families through updated regulations. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) announced on December 1st, 2018 that they are relaxing some of the regulations for children traveling to South Africa. The announcement comes at a pivotal point for family travel as the Festive Season, a time when many families travel with their children, is fast approaching.
These regulations are easing family travel and allowing the diverse natural scenery and wildlife of the country to be explored by children of all ages and their parents. The variety of sites and events in the country are ideal for multi-generational travel and now the whole family can easily visit! Witness the big 5 on a safari and experience the infamous penguins on Boulder Beach. Round out your trip with scenic hikes and tours through the varying city scapes and discover the history of the country and celebrate the influence of Nelson Mandela.
Amended Guidelines for US & CAN Child Travelers to South Africa
As visas are not required for US & CAN travelers visiting for less than 90 days, generally, children (under 18) travelling with both parents will experience no additional questioning and will not be requested to provide any additional documents, over and above a valid passport.
However, if it may appear that you are not the parents of the child for any reason, such as different surnames, same sex marriages, significant age differences, or different nationalities, documentation may be requested. It is suggested that you consider carrying a birth certificate which features the details of the parent or parents, or other documentation that might assist to prove the parental relationship such as a marriage certificate, adoption certificate etc.
If only one parent is travelling with a child, or a child is travelling with another adult (or adults) who is/are not the child’s parent, you may be asked a few questions to establish your relationship with the child, the reason the child is travelling with you and/or the reason the other parent is not travelling with you.
Such travellers are strongly advised to carry evidence of their relationship with the child and/or the reason why they are travelling with the child, and evidence of consent to travel with the child from the absent parent or parents, together with their identification and contact details. However, should officials ask for documents you are not carrying with you, you will be given some time after arrival to source the relevant documentation requested.
This additional documentation could include:
A copy of a birth certificate of the child with the parent or parents’ details;
Written consent (which need not be an affidavit or notarized) from the absent parent or parents, or legal guardian of the child, authorising the child to travel to the Republic with the adult he or she is travelling with;
Copy of the passport of the parent or parents or legal guardian of the child;
The contact details of the parent or parents, or legal guardian, of the child;
Where applicable, copy of an adoption order;
Where applicable, a copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the sole parent or legal guardian of the child;
Where applicable, a copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent or parents of the child.
For more details from the Department of Tourism click here.
For more information on South Africa’s rich and diverse offerings visit www.southafrica.net, follow @SouthAfrica on Twitter and @VisitSouthAfrica on Instagram and Facebook.