No more documents when travelling with children? Beware of the small print.

In an attempt to create certainty and consistency around the process followed for children crossing South African borders, The Minister of Home Affairs has issued a waiver of certain existing rules (relating to children from visa exempt countries only), which is in force until the Regulations have been changed. This waiver and the information on the Department of Home Affairs’ website are not entirely congruent and still leave gaps.

What is certain:
Foreign children from visa-exempt countries (i.e. those who can arrive as tourists and receive a visitor’s visa on arrival) need NOT carry any further documentation, unless they travel alone.
NB: South African children can still be asked for the relevant documents which apply to traveling with one or both parents or with third parties.
South African passports that contain the parents’ details replace the unabridged birth certificate.

What is not clear:
Do children from visa non-exempt countries not traveling with both parents need parental consent affidavits? It does not seem to be the Minister’s intention, but based on the information at hand, we cannot confirm this.

Lesotho Special Permit extended

Similar to special exemptions granted to Zimbabwean nationals, citizens of Lesotho were granted special permits (LSP) in 2015, which allow for work, study and conducting a business and are due to expire at the end of the year. They will be replaced by Lesotho Exemption Permits (LEP), which are available only to holders of LSP and will be valid for another 4 years. They will contain express conditions precluding holders from changing their status to an ordinary visa from within the country, or to qualify for permanent residence based on length of stay. Applications are now open and end on 31 March 2020. LSP holders who apply for the LEP can travel with their receipts until a decision has been taken.

You're welcome to call or email our consultants for assistance with any of these processes.