Friday, May 29, 2015

Home Affairs DG clarifies new visa regulations

Loyiso Langeni

29 May 2015


Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni has clarified issues regarding the new visa regulations which will come into effect of the 1st of June 2015.
One of the new regulations has to do with children travelling into or out of South Africa need to have an unabridged birth certificate.

The department said this is aimed at establishing the principle that all children must have the consent of their parents when travelling into or out of the country.

DG Apleni said the new requirements will apply to South African children, under 18, upon leaving the Republic, and children who are foreign nationals and who are visa exempt when travelling through a port of entry of the Republic. Children who apply for a South African visa at any mission or VFS service-point will have to submit the required additional documents, such as unabridged birth certificates.

He also said the Department has a backlog of around 4,000 applications for unabridged birth certificates. For smooth implementation, we are pulling out all the stops and are now left with only 800 applications to clear

Meanwhile Director General Apleni also clarified when a unabridged certificate is needed.

He said where both parents are travelling with valid passports and visas the unabridged birth certificate is not a requirement since these additional documents would have been provided when applications were made for passports and visas.

He further said that it is where one parent or another person is travelling with somebody else’s child that we require valid passports, an unabridged birth certificate, and parental consent affidavits.

Apleni added that travellers who are from countries that are not visa-exempt do not have to bring along unabridged birth certificates for the child/children travelling with. The Visa Exemption List is on the Home Affairs website.

“We do not understand the claims that our requirements are unique, not applicable elsewhere, and would have consequences for tourism and the economy in general. Our regulations were benchmarked even with countries attracting more tourists. SA citizens are also required to have these documents when going to some countries of the world.” Apleni said.

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