Requirements When Travelling with Minors To or Transferring Through South Africa, Botswana & Namibia

From the 1st of June 2015, the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa changed the requirements for all children under 18 years of age who are travelling to, from or transferring through South Africa irrespective of arriving by air, sea or land.

These requirements now also apply to anyone travelling with minors to, from or through Botswana or Namibia.

Here is an explanation of the changes for the most common cases along with the documents that will be required:

Minor accompanied by both of his or her parents:

Parents travelling with children under the age of 18 to or from South Africa, Botswana and Namibia must produce an unabridged birth certificate (or equivalent document) of the child which shows details of the parents.

Minor accompanied by one parent:

  • an unabridged birth certificate of the child
  • consent in the form of an affidavit from the other person registered as a parent on the birth certificate, authorising them to enter or depart South Africa with the child
  • a copy of the identity document of the other person registered on the birth certificate is recommended
  • a court order granting them full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship or where applicable, a death certificate of the other person registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate

Minor accompanied by a person who is not his or her biological parent:

  • an 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

Unaccompanied Minor:

  • an unabridged birth certificate of the child
  • 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
  • copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the minor
  • a letter from the person who is to receive the minor in South Africa, containing his or her residential address and contact details of where the minor 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 minor in South Africa
  • contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the minor

For more information please contact your local South African, Namibian or Botswana Embassy, High Commission or Department of Home Affairs. Alternatively, you can download the ‘Immigration leaflet’ provided by Home Affairs or contact us directly.