Home Affairs eases Visa Regulations for Tourists to South Africa

Foreign nationals travelling to South Africa will no longer be required to have unabridged certificates for their minor children upon arrival in South Africa.

“The key changes will be that rather than requiring all foreign national travelling minors to carry documentation proving parental consent for the minor to travel, we will rather strongly recommend that travellers carry this documentation,” said Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday.

The change in policy follows an announcement of a Stimulus Package and recovery plan to boost the economy, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday.

As part of its effort to aid the economy, Home Affairs announced the changes to its visa requirements in an effort to boost tourism and make business travel more conducive.

Gigaba said his department will issue an international travel advisory before the end of October 2018 after consultation with the Immigration Advisory Board (IAB).

“We are simplifying the rules on travelling minors, who are foreign nationals to minimise disruption to legitimate travellers without compromising the safety of minors and the rights of parents.

“Our immigration officials will only insist on documentation by exception — in high risk situations — rather than for all travellers, in line with practice by several other countries,” said the Minister.

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Home Affairs will now allow travellers an opportunity to prove parental consent.

“These changes will be implemented in good time for the festive season when many people would be traveling with children. We will train immigration officials on the revised regulations to ensure smooth implementation,” said Gigaba.

While foreign nationals are exempted from presenting documentation, South African minors travelling abroad will still be required to prove consent or have a minor passport.

Photo: Robbie Irlam