Gigaba puts brakes on new immigration regulations

2014-09-16 12:01

Philda Essop

A period of grace in the immigration regulations, particularly for minor children travelling with their parents, has been announced by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Speaking at a news conference at Parliament this morning, he said parents now have until June 1 next year to apply for unabridged birth certificates for their children. The written consent of parents or guardians who are travelling with minors has also been postponed to the same date.

Gigaba had already extended the date earlier to October 1.

All the other new immigration regulations took effect on May 26.

The tourism industry, in particular, criticised this particular regulation that stipulates that all minor children travelling with their parents must have an unabridged birth certificate in addition to their passports.

Gigaba, who met various stakeholders recently, has identified two challenges in the application of the regulations. These are communicating the regulations accurately and in good time to embassies, travel agents and prospective travellers around the world and, second, allowing parents and those who have permission to travel with children enough time to apply for the required documents.

“The department was informed that while the new regulations are accepted as necessary and are fully supported, because of these challenges, especially in view of the high season for families during the December-January festive season and in April over Easter – an extension will assist travellers and all these sectors as a whole,” said Gigaba.

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