step 2

Select the appropriate parent scenario

step 3

Select the specific scenario for the child

Please select an option in step 2.

Disclaimer
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the Child Visa Checklist app is kept up to date, the creators of this app cannot be held responsible for travel delays or curtailment due to changes in the regulations made by the Department of Home Affairs. Please report omissions or corrections to cvc@drivesouthafrica.co.za. If you’re uncertain, we recommend you check www.dha.gov.za, contact your nearest embassy / consulate or seek legal advice before travelling.

Download the Parental Consent Affidavit form provided by SA Home Affairs (PDF)

Download PCA Form

Child visa frequently asked questions

Why is the South African government changing the child travel laws and visa regulations?

The new child travel laws and visa regulations aim to reduce and prevent child trafficking across South African borders.

Who does this affect?

The laws affect anyone travelling to or from South Africa with a child under the age of 18 years. This includes South African citizens leaving or arriving into the country, and foreign nationals arriving and leaving the country. The laws apply to all of South Africa’s borders: land, sea or air. It does not affect those travelling within South Africa.

Does it affect travellers in transit?

The laws are not applicable to passengers remaining in transit, unless the traveller requires a transit visa. The necessary documents should be submitted during the transit visa application process and all documents and visa should be carried on person whilst travelling.

What documents are needed?

In short, all children under the age of 18 leaving and entering South Africa will be required to have an unabridged birth certificate to accompany their passport – along with the relevant visa if required. Additional documents are required depending on (1) who the child is travelling with, (2) the marital status of the parents and (3) any other special circumstances (adoption, foster care, whether both parents are still alive, etc). Use the interactive tool on this page to determine exactly what documents are necessary for your particular scenario.

How recently must the documents be issued?

Note that the Parental Consent Affidavit (PCA) documents must be dated within four months of the date of departure or entry.

Must I travel with the original documents?

All documents must be original or certified as a copy of an original by a Commissioner of Oaths, or the equivalent authority, should Commissioner of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned.

What is an Unabridged Birth Certificate?

The Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC) is a birth certificate that reflects the particulars of both parents of the child. All children born in South Africa after 14 March 2013 were issued with a valid unabridged birth certificate automatically and free of charge. Everyone born before that, and those from countries who do not automatically issue unabridged certificates, must apply for the document well before their travel date.

What about birth certificates and documents that are not in English?

Documents issued in a language other than English will be accepted, however a verified translation is recommended.

What if there is no such thing as an unabridged birth certificate in my country?

In the case of countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates, a letter to this effect issued by the competent authority of the foreign country should be produced. In the case of foreign countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates, an equivalent document containing the particulars of the child and his or her parents issued by the competent authority of the foreign country should be produced.

What if my country does not issue affidavits?

An affidavit is a written statement from an individual which is sworn to be true – and is verified by a Commission the Oath, or equivalent authority. If your country does not issue affidavits, you can have one issued at the South African Embassy in your country of residence. This service will be provided free of charge. The South African Department of Home Affairs has published this example Parental Consent Affidavit (PDF). NOTE: The document still needs to be verified by a Commissioner of Oaths.

How to obtain an unabridged birth certificate in South Africa?

South African parents can apply for an unabridged birth certificate at any branch of Home Affairs. Documents required to apply:
  • Both parents’ ID books
  • The child’s ID number

You will be required to complete and submit forms. The cost of the unabridged birth certificate is R75 (cash only).
The indicated time to issue an unabridged birth certificate is between 3 and 8 weeks.

My child is adopted so our names are not on her birth certificate, what should I do?

The parents of adopted children should produce proof of adoption by means of an adoption certificate or court order declaring them as parents of the adopted child. Use the interactive tool on this page to determine exactly what documents are necessary for your particular scenario.

We are a gay couple (two fathers) and both our names appear on the Unabridged Birth Certificate. If we are both travelling with our child, will that suffice?

Yes, same sex parents are recognised as per the names on the unabridged birth certificate. Passports and visas (if necessary) will still be required.

What if my child is travelling with grandparents or extended family members?

All children under the age of 18, even those travelling with family members, or any adult that is not a parent or legal guardian must be in possession of the required documentation. Use the interactive tool on this page to determine exactly what documents are necessary for your particular scenario.

What if my child is travelling with a school group?

All children under the age of 18, even those travelling with teachers, or any adult that is not a parent or legal guardian, must be in possession of the required documentation. Use the interactive tool on this page to determine exactly what documents are necessary for your particular scenario.

What will happen if we don’t have the required documentation at the time of check-in?

Airlines are bound by the South African Immigration regulations and must act accordingly. Travellers not in possession of the required documentation will not be allowed to travel.

How can I contact at the South African department of Home Affairs?

For further information and assistance please contact: The South African Department of Home Affairs, http://www.dha.gov.za/ 0800 60 11 90 (toll free from South Africa); or Your local South African Embassy http://www.dirco.gov.za/webmissions/