Home affairs clarifies new travel regulations for children

Cape Town - Children who applied for unabridged birth certificates before June 1 would still be allowed to travel if they didn't receive their documents in time, Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni told MPs on Tuesday morning.

The head of the specific home affairs branch would issue a letter confirming that an application had been made.

According to new visa regulations, children travelling internationally needed to be in possession of a passport and an unabridged birth certificate from June 1.

Applications for these documents, which contain the details of both parents, take between six to eight weeks to process.

Apleni said minors who left the country before June 1, but returned after June 1, would not be required to travel with the unabridged birth certificate.

He was speaking after a joint sitting of the portfolio committees on home affairs and tourism.

Other requirements are that a child travelling with just one parent needed an affidavit from the other parent giving his or her permission.

A child travelling in the company of anyone who is not a parent required affidavits from the parents and copies of the parents' or legal guardians' identity documents and their contact details.

Statistics released by the department show that 2 735 982 children travelled in and out of South Africa last year. This included 940 626 South Africans and 1 795 356 foreigners.

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