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Travel rules relaxed for foreign parents travelling with children

By News24 25 September 2018
Caption
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba addresses the media prior to delivering the annual budget speech to the house of parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, 21 February 2018. The main element of budget speach is the rise in the value-added tax (VAT) for the first time since 1993, from 14 to 15 per cent. EPA-EFE/BRENTON GEACH

In a bid to increase tourism, the Department of Home Affairs has relaxed travel rules for foreigners visiting South Africa with minors.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced on Tuesday that documentation proving parental consent for a minor to travel is no longer a requirement. However, it is strongly recommended that travellers carry this documentation, he said.

“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,” Gigaba said.

He added that instead of being denied entry where documentation is absent, travellers will be given the opportunity to prove parental consent.

Gigaba said these changes would be implemented before the festive season.

South Africans, however, will still be required to prove parental consent and have an unabridged birth certificate if they want to travel abroad with their minor children.

Gigaba also announced a passport for minors that will eventually see the end of unabridged birth certificates as the document will have the contact details of both parents. DM

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