Government postpones strict parental travel provision again

16 Sep 14

SOUTH AFRICA

IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? Implementation of a cumbersome provision requiring that parents carry unabridged birth certificates for any children traveling with them has again been postponed, Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba announced at a media briefing today.

What does the change mean? The rule has been delayed until June 1, 2015.

  • Implementation timeframe: The provision was originally delayed until Oct. 1 and has been further postponed to June 1, 2015.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas.
  • Who is affected: All adults traveling with children under 18 years old. The rule also covers unaccompanied minors.
  • Business impact: The delay will give travelers more time to gather documents and authorities more time to properly implement the rules.
  • Next steps: The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is in talks with stakeholders over this provision and others in the recently implemented Immigration Regulations and timing of its implementation has been a key negotiating point. BAL will keep clients informed about developing news.

Background: Under the new regulations adopted earlier this year, parents traveling with children under the age of 18 are required to produce an unabridged birth certificate for each child. In cases where only one parent is traveling with the children, consent in the form of an affidavit from the other registered parent is required. Alternatively, either a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or a death certificate of the other parent must be produced. Unaccompanied minors must travel with letters of consent and contact details from both parents as well as letters and identity documents of the persons receiving the children in South Africa. In May, the DHA delayed the implementation date to Oct. 1 to allow families to travel during peak holiday season.

BAL Analysis: Industry and other stakeholders, who have lobbied for the past two months for a more organized rollout, welcome the additional eight-month delay of the burdensome documentary rules until the middle of next year.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in South Africa. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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