The “First Amendment of the Immigration Regulations, 2014” eases the requirements for parents and legal guardians travelling with children through South Africa ports of entry, firstly introduced in 2015. It is effective by 1 December 2018.

There have also been changes to the rules on spouses, work visas and residence, while many more proposed changes to the visa rules are expected to be introduced in the coming months, but were not included in this amendment.

 

Child travel

If both parents are travelling with a child who is not a South African citizen, they no longer need to carry the child´s birth certificate.

One parent, guardian or other person travelling with a child who is not a South African citizen, and without the other parent(2) or guardian(s), may be required by an immigration officer to produce a birth certificate, and is strongly advised to be in possession of the same documents required before this Amendment, as following:

 

* Letter of consent from the absent parent(s) or guardian(s) of the child, or a court order granting parental responsibilities;
* The contact details, a copy of the passport and/or a copy of the death certificate of the absent parent(s) or guardian(s), or other evidence of the reason for their absence.

 

There are no changes for a child who is a South African citizen, who must still travel with a birth certificate or passport containing details of the parent or parents of the child. The requirement of an affidavit has been dropped, but a letter of consent is still required when travelling alone or with one parent only.

 

Life partnerships

There may now be interviews with applicants in a permanent relationship when submitting their visa. (Previously the regulations stated that they “must” be interviewed). The legislator is following the current practice of the administration.

The amendments also seem to allow a minor child who is a South African citizen to be considered willing to support and maintain a foreign parent applying for a visa, where previously it was considered that they couldn´t be legally willing.