New travel requirements for minors

South Africa's visa laws in relation to children travelling

Controversial visa laws – requiring all minors coming in or out of South Africa to carry unabridged birth certificates – will be axed and replaced with an updated passport. This passport will have the details of both parents printed on it and is due to come into effect sometime within the next three to 12 months.

The Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs, Mkuseli Apleni, announced this last Friday. The announcement followed an amendment programme organised by the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) late last year.

The change comes after a number of tourists were unable to enter South Africa due to staunch visa requirements, including Hollywood star Idris Elba’s daughter.

It is hoped that travelling in and out of the country will be made more accessible with the new passport requirements. Minors from visa-exempt countries are, however, encouraged to continue to travel with birth certificates as a safety precaution.

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