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Home Affairs enforces child’s security

DHAThe appointment of the new Home Affairs Minister, Mr Malusi Gigaba came with major and intense adjustments to the South African immigration regulations, especially for parents and guardians travelling with children in and out of the country.

Immigration Regulation 6(12), gazetted on 22 May 2014, will come into effect on 1 October 2014, making it compulsory for parents traveling with children across the South African borders to produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child. 

An abridged birth certificate is issued after 30 days of childbirth, whilst an unabridged certificate is issued between six-eight weeks after a request has been made. Minister Gigaba expressed that the new regulation will ascertain effective and efficient management of migration in the best interest of the country’s security while ensuring that the South African immigration system doesn’t harm the economic development and prosperity of the country.

The minister indicated that the implementation of the regulations will make the verification of documents easier and assist the department in tackling fraudulent activities, abuse of legislation and maintaining a web-based application process for renewals/extensions of visas which people may do at the comfort of their homes or offices. 

Immigration Regulation 6 (12) provides that;

(12)(a) Where parents are travelling with a child, such parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child.

(b) In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and –

(i) Consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate of the child authorising him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic with the child he or she is travelling with;
(ii) A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child; or
(iii) Where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate;
Provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her or his or her parents, approve such a person to enter into or depart from the Republic with such a child.

 

(c) Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, he or she must produce:

(i) A copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child;
(ii) An affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child;
(iii) Copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child; and
(iv) The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child,

 

(d) Any unaccompanied minor shall produce to the immigration officer-

(i) Proof of consent from one or both parents or legal guardian,  in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from the Republic
Provided that in the case where one parent provides proof of consent, that parent must also provide a copy of a court order issued to him or her in terms of which he or she has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the child;
(ii) A letter from the person who is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his or her residential address and contact details in the Republic where the child will be residing;
(iii) A copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic; and
(iv)  Contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.

 

Department of Home Affairs spokesperson, Mr David Hlabane advised the public and parents to utilise the remaining months to apply for unabridged birth certificates as it take six to eight weeks to be obtained. He further warned that parents or guardians who fail to produce the required documents will not be allowed to enter or leave the country with a child.

For more information on the new immigration regulation visit the Department of Home Affairs website on www.dha.gov.za