New requirements for the entry and departure of minors

Since 1 June 2015, new requirements apply in South Africa for the entry and departure of minors. Regardless of the nationality and date of the booking, all travellers under 18 years of age must present documents which were not previously required. If the requirements are not met, the South African authorities will deny entry and departure.

All documents that are not written in English must be accompanied by a notarised translation issued by the authorities in charge for the respective country. The original document or certified copies must always be presented.

For further information please contact the South African embassy in Switzerland or in your country of residence.

Please remember that you should have the following documents in your pocket during the entire journey:

Travelling minor accompanied by both biological parents

  • A passport and an unabridged* birth certificate.

Travelling minor accompanied by one parent

  • A passport and an unabridged* birth certificate
  • consent from the other parent listed on the birth certificate for the entry or departure to/from South Africa with the minor in the form of an affidavit; this affidavit may not be older than three months on the travel date


  • a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or full legal guardianship of the child exclusively to the travelling parent


  • if necessary a death certificate for the other parent listed on the child’s birth certificate.

Travelling minor accompanied by a person who is not a biological parent

  • A passport and a copy of the child’s unabridged* birth certificate
  • an affidavit from the child’s parent or legal guardian stating that the respective person is authorised to travel with the child
  • copies of the parents’ identification documents or passports or that of the legal guardian
  • the parents’ contact data or that of the legal guardian.

Unaccompanied minor

  • Permission by a parent or both parents or the legal guardian for the entry/departure of the child to/from South Africa in the form of a letter or affidavit; should this parental consent affidavit originate from just one parent, then additionally a copy of a court ruling must be provided showing that sole custody of this child has been granted to this parent
  • a letter from the person who will receive the child in South Africa, including address and contact data for the child’s stay in South Africa
  • a copy of the identification document, a valid passport, visa or an unlimited residency permit for the person who is receiving the child in South Africa
  • the parents’ contact data or that of the legal guardian.

* An unabridged birth certificate contains information about the child and both parents on the date on which the birth was registered.

For countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates, a letter issued by the authorities of the respective country is required for this purpose.