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Important travel information when travelling in and out of South Africa with children: The latest update following the recently released advisory

New travel law for children travelling in and out of South Africa came into effect in November 2019, stating that international minors are NO LONGER REQUIRED to travel with an Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC). All that is needed is a valid passport as well as a valid visa (where necessary).

NOTE: Additional documents may be required when a minor is travelling unaccompanied.

However, the same does not apply to South African minors who are STILL required to travel locally with UBCs, unless the minor’s passport contains the particulars of BOTH parents. There are various other requirements needed when a South African minor is travelling with only one parent, with an adult who is not their parents/legal guardian or unaccompanied.

Consult The Department of Home Affairs’ website for all the information you need to ensure you travel with the correct documents:


Applying for an UBC

Do so at your nearest home affairs office. Both parents need to be present with their valid South African IDs and please also take your child’s ID number with. Photographs are taken at the office during the issuing process. Credit card facilities are available (but we advise you take cash too in case the machines are not working).

Certain banks also provide this service – click on the link to find your nearest one:

Be sure to check and check again before travelling with children what documentation is required and ensure you travel with all the necessaries to avoid having to delay or cancel your travel plans.

Contact the Department of Home Affairs:

All information correct at the time of publishing.