Travel Rule “Changes”

On 23 October 2015, Home Affairs announced that parliament had accepted the recommendations by the Inter-Ministerial Committee regarding the travel rules for persons traveling with children. This was sold as a great success that would bring relief to the tourism industry. When looking closely, though, nothing much has changed at all. All rules remain in place for outbound travels, i.e. persons leaving South Africa (it appears that this also applies to tourists returning to their home countries). Where in the process of a visa application certain documents have already been provided (e.g. unabridged birth certificate and parental consent), these need not be shown again. For all other cases, there will be a strong recommendation to provide all documents as before. Until such time as this recommendation has been issued, the previous rules remain in place.

In summary, there is no cause for relief at this stage – we strongly advise that you have all your travel documents in place when coming to or leaving South Africa with children, including unabridged birth certificate, consent affidavit and certified copy of non-traveling parents, etc.