Minors crossing borders require now an unabridged birth certificate - May 2015

30 000 minors are trafficked through South African borders every year according to statistics released by Home Affairs, with 50% of these minors being under the age of 14 years.

Therefore, under the new Law coming into effect on the 1st of June 2015, all minors under the age of 18 years will need to carry with them, in addition to their passport, an Unabridged Birth Certificate (stating both parents’ particulars) whenever entering or exiting South African ports of entry. Minors will not be allowed to travel without these documents. Should the Unabridged Birth Certificate held be in a language other than English, a sworn translation thereof must accompany them, issued by a competent authority in the respective country.


For children travelling with only one parent, the following has to be presentable:

▪ An affidavit in which the absent parent gives consent for the travelling of the child. This affidavit may not be older than 3
  months from date of travel.
▪ A court order granting full parental responsibilities or legal guardianship of the child
▪ The death certificate of the absent parent (if such should be the case)

Children travelling without either parent need to be accompanied by the following documents:

▪ Affidavits from the parents or legal guardians supplementing the Unabridged Birth Certificate, confirming that the child is allowed to travel with that person
▪ Copies of the ID documents or passports of the parents or legal guardians
▪ Full contact details of the parents or legal guardians

A child travelling as an unaccompanied minor has to be able to show proof of:

▪  The Unabridged Birth Certificate
▪  Consent from both parents or legal guardians
▪  Full contact details of the parents or legal guardians
▪  Documentation relating to the person receiving the child in South Africa. This documentation must include a letter informing about the person’s contact details and residential address, as well as details and contactable sources of where the child will be residing.
▪ A copy of his/her ID document, passport or residence permit

Parents who wish to apply for the Unabridged Birth Certificate of their children may do so at their nearest Home Affairs Office, where the Biometric Information will be verified. The following documents are needed for this application:

▪ ID book, as well as the child’s ID number
▪ All documents in need of submission are required to be originals or certified copies.

Please note that certified documents are usually only valid for 6 months.

The Unabridged Birth Certificate costs R75 and may take up to 8 weeks until completion from the date of application.

Minors travelling with their grandparents or in school groups are not exempt from this requirement.