New proposals are on the table for the current legislation regarding the travelling with children to and from South Africa. The new legislation would only (possibly) come into effect in three months’ time, so for now, the old legislation remains and is fully enforceable by law enforcement officials.
The proposed amendments to the current legislation are:
• In countries where there is no South African mission, the department of home affairs will accept applications by post.
• This will apply for tourist and medical visitors only.
• Postal applications will see biometrics of travelers, including finger prints and photos, captured on arrival at ports of entry.
• Biometric pilot site ports of entry are OR Tambo Airport, King Shaka Airport and Cape Town International Airport.
• Countries like China, India and Russia, certain measures will be put in place to ease the process of application, in particular for tourists.
• South African children travelling out of the country will still be required to submit the current child-travel requirements, including a parental consent affidavits as a means to protect the minors
• The validity of this affidavit will be extended to no longer than 6 months.
• Details of parents will also be printed in passports, so that parents whose particulars are printed would therefore not be required to carry the birth certificates. (However the DHA advises that this form of identification still be carried as a form of proof.
• For inbound travellers, the proof of original birth certificates or certified copies would only be required during the application process, as this is in line with practise in many other countries. (As is the case with the South African Children travelling in and out of South Africa, the DHA advises that this form of identification still be carried and will reserve the right to investigate suspected child trafficking on a case by case basis.)
• Cabinet also approved changing the term “unabridged birth certificate” to “birth certificate containing parental details”.
• DHA is also considering long-term multiple entry visas for frequent travellers.