South Africa - More Information

Entry requirements when travelling with children (under 18)

If travelling with children (under the age of 18), additional documentation may be requested upon arrival. Although minors travelling with both parents do not generally need to supply additional documentation, South Africa reserves the right to request a copy of the child’s unabridged birth certificate before granting entry. Whilst this may be an unlikely request, travellers are advised to be prepared to present the unabridged birth certificate to border officials upon arrival, particularly where parent’s surname differs from the child’s. The abridged (short) birth certificate which only lists the child’s particulars will not be accepted, whereas the full unabridged birth certificate should list the child’s details and both parents’ details. If minors are travelling without one or both parents, they are more likely to be required to show a full unabridged birth certificate, in addition to other documentation as required per the 2015 Immigration Act. The requirements can be found under Section 4, part C, Amendment of regulation of the Regulations.

It has been confirmed by the South African Department of Home Affairs that people in direct transit through a South African international airport will not be required to provide supporting documents. Check with the airline to see whether you will need to go through immigration on arrival in South Africa, collect luggage and check in again (going through immigration will mean that you will have to provide the correct documentation).

Contact your nearest South African High Commission or Embassy if you have any specific questions about your trip.

You can order a full unabridged birth certificate online via GOV.UK if your child was born in the UK, or the South African Department of Home Affairs website if your child was born in South Africa.