25 MAY 2015
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From 1 June, parents travelling with children (under 18) entering South Africa may be asked to show the child’s full birth certificate, and where only one parent is accompanying, proof of parental or legal authority to travel with the child.
These new immigration rules have been devised to tackle child abduction and the trafficking of young people. This requirement is becoming a worldwide practice. Parents will be required to produce an unabridged birth certificate showing both of their names and, if the document is not in English, a sworn translation is required.
For single parents, or those travelling alone with a child, there is a need to produce an affidavit (no older than three months on the date of travel) in which the absent parent consents to the child travelling, a court order giving full parental responsibility or legal guardianship of the child, or the death certificate of the other parent.
Chris McIntyre, Managing Director of specialist safari operator Expert Africa, comments: “Whilst I applaud the ethical concerns that seem to have driven this South African legislation, I'm obviously concerned about South Africa becoming that bit harder to enter for some families. South Africa’s Cape is malaria-free – it’s our most popular destination for families with young children. www.expertafrica.com
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