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New South African immigration rules

Travelling with minors - New Laws|

The Department of Home Affairs will be implementing the new laws regarding travelling with minors (ALL CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18) from 1 June 2015. The laws are both for children entering into and exiting out of South Africa, at all South African ports of entry/departure. If you are travelling within South Africa, these do not apply to you (for example: Port Elizabeth to Durban). The laws are intended to assist with the fight against human trafficking, which is prevalent through South Africa. The onus lies with the passengers to ensure they have the correct documentation, else boarding will be denied.

An unabridged or full birth certificate shows the full details of both parents. All children will be required to have this, as well as their passport, when travelling. The law applies to all minor, regardless the nationality and regardless the place of residence, travelling to or from South Africa. If the certificate is not in English, a sworn translation must be provided, issued by a competent authority from the country where the certificate was issued.

Required documents to submit when entering/leaving South Africa:

See this document

See immigration leaflet

Where to obtain an Unabridged Birth Certificate:

  • For children born in South Africa: Contact your local Home Affairs Office. Given that it can take a minimum of 8 weeks for an unabridged birth certificate to be issued when applying for it in South Africa, we strongly advise for you to apply for the documentation sooner rather than later if you are planning on travelling.
  • For children born in Belgium: ask the Belgian municipality where the child was born for a multilingual extract of the birth certificate (in het Nederlands: meertalig uittreksel uit de geboorteakte, en français: extrait de l’acte de naissance multilingue), which comes in 4 languages (including English), showing the details of the parents and the child. If the birth of a Belgian child in a foreign country was registered in the registers of civil status of a Belgian municipality, you can also contact that Belgian municipality. For children younger than the age of 12 and residing in Belgium the Kids ID can be used as a substitute for the “unabridged birth certificate” as it shows the parents and is in English. For minors between 12 and 18 the required documents apply.
  • For children born elsewhere: the local authority where the child was born

Where to obtain a Parental Consent Affidavit (ouderlijke toestemming/ consentement parental):

  • In South Africa and other countries: please consult this document
  • In Belgium: address your local Belgian municipality and ask for a multilingual document
  • Please note: Affidavit cannot be older than 4 months and has to be in English or an English version, and has to be bear the stamp of a local official authority.

Use of language/Translation:

Please note that all documents must be in English (including the affidavit/letter of consent, court order, death certificate, …) if not, translated into English by a sworn translator – translation has to bear the stamp of the sworn translator. Your passport has to be valid at least 30 days AFTER departure from South Africa and needs to have at least 2 unused pages for entry/exit stamps or visa.

The Consulate of Belgium is providing this information as a service only and cannot guarantee that at the time of reading that it is still the most recent update. For the most up-to-date information, check with the Department of Home Affairs or the Embassy of South Africa in Brussels:


New South African Immigration Rules

South Africa introduced new immigration rules as from 26 May 2014: www.dha.gov.za or contact the South African Embassy in Brussels - publicdiplomacy@southafrica.be  or www.southafrica.be.

Your passport has to be valid at least 30 days after departure from South Africa and needs to have at least 2 unused pages for entry/exit stamps or visa.

Belgian citizens on holiday are still allowed to enter South Africa with only their Belgian passport, and can stay for a maximum of 90 days per calendar year in the Republic as a visitor. Should they wish to extend their stay, they have to apply at least 30 days in advance (this is 30 days before your stay has come to an end) through a VFS office (for addresses: see website Home Affairs - www.dha.gov.za).

Be informed that as from 26 May 2014, for all first time visa applications (not for holiday reasons), you have to contact the South African Embassy in Brussels. For all other extensions or change of status you are to contact the VFS office at least 30 days before expiry date. A change of the visitor’s status into another status is not possible anymore.

Non-South African Residents residing in South Africa:

If you live/reside in South Africa, you must be in possession of a valid residence permit at all times when entering or leaving South Africa. Be advised to have the A4-form (the document that states your resident status, a copy will do) with you at all times when crossing South Africa’s borders.

South African Home Affairs will not be putting the resident permit sticker in your passport anymore, nor will the current resident permit sticker be transferred into a new passport.

Permits Expired / Permit Renewal:

For those who have South African permits who are expired, please be aware that you may be blacklisted and prevented from applying for a visa to re-enter South Africa for a period from 12 months to 5 years. Should you have applied for a resident status/permit/visa before 26 May 2014, you did not get a reply from Home Affairs yet, you left South Africa already and got the “undesirable” status, please address an email to overstayappeals@dha.gov.za together with a copy of your Belgian passport, a copy of your current visa/permit and a copy of the application for the renewal of your visa/status. You will receive a reply from Home Affairs containing the document DHA-57 (“Waiving of undesirability”) and you are allowed to enter South Africa again.

If you have applied for a renewal before 26 May 2014, the old law (law in force before 26 May 2014) concerning your visa/permit renewal will still be applicable.

For all other applications submitted after 26 May 2014, the new law will be applicable (see www.dha.gov.za).