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Heads-up: New SA Immigration rules for kids

Heads-up: New SA Immigration rules for kids

Old Jun 10, 14, 10:55 am
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Heads-up: New SA Immigration rules for kids

New travel rules for kids

Seems nuts, but these measures are slated to be introduced 1 July (may yet be postponed due to unworkability, who knows, but this seems to be the situation as it stands...unless this is some gigantic joke)

The amendment to the Immigration Act regulation 6 requires anyone travelling from or to South Africa with children under the age of 18 to be in possession of a fully unabridged birth certificate, in addition to a valid passport by 1 July 2014 - without this travel will be denied.
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Old Jun 10, 14, 2:47 pm
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Unfortunately not a joke and it looks like it applies to tourists as well as SA citizens ... quite bonkers.

Fortunately these are easy to get in countries where most tourists originate (US, UK, EU) but I think trickier to get in South Africa itself.
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Old Jun 11, 14, 3:38 am
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Bungle, bungle, bungle.

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Old Jun 11, 14, 11:54 am
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Deleted.

By Johan is more than right.

Last edited by jsnydcsa; Jun 11, 14 at 12:01 pm
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Old Jun 12, 14, 8:56 am
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"SATSA and the Board of Airline Representatives SA (BARSA) have welcomed the Department of Home Affairs’ decision to delay the implementation of a new regulation that children travelling with adults present an unabridged birth certificate when arriving, leaving, or transiting in South Africa."

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Old Jun 12, 14, 9:45 am
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It is unfortunate that SA was going to hassle tons of innocent people over this, all because of problems that can be interdicted otherwise but weren't.

Was this to be applicable to citizens of other countries too? Seems so.

It's not like the airlines (with service to/from South Africa) and the immigration authorities in South Africa can quickly and reliably recognize which birth certificates are legitimate and which are fraudulent from all over the world.
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Old Jun 12, 14, 11:25 am
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They still intend to proceed with this, but have delayed implementation until 1 October.
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Old Jun 12, 14, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
It's not like the airlines (with service to/from South Africa) and the immigration authorities in South Africa can quickly and reliably recognize which birth certificates are legitimate and which are fraudulent from all over the world.
I don't even want to think about the chaos that will result if airlines start screening birth certificates at check-in or boarding for all flights to SA. I have three birth certificates issued by three countries in three different languages, none of which are commonly understood. Fortunately (well, in most respects fortunately) I'm over 18.

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Old Jun 12, 14, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
I don't even want to think about the chaos that will result if airlines start screening birth certificates at check-in or boarding for all flights to SA.

Johan
Don't many airlines (in the US, in my experience) ask for some sort of "proof" that the non-traveling parent(s) has/have given permission to the traveling-with-child-parent/grandparent/person to travel with the kid? Esp. internationally with the kid (and I think I've even heard a check-in clerk or two doing it to a US domestic passenger traveling alone with kids). Lurking around the travel with kids forum, there seems to be all sorts of talk about this type of requirement. At least in the US, this may not be so difficult to have check-in staff checking these additional documents (they have to check passports for pax bound for SA) and they're likely familiar with the process described above. But, obviously, that doesn't take into account the rest of the world.

When applying for kids' US Passports, if both parents could not be present at the time of application (and in-person application is required), then the parent applying had to have notarized permission from the non-present parent to get the kid a passport.

Same for SA, at the consular affairs office in DC, parent presenting all the paperwork for SA passport (indeed, even SA birth certificate) (making the application on behalf of the kid) had to also present letter of permission from non-present parent that said application is OK with the non-present parent.
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Old Jun 12, 14, 4:50 pm
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US airline reps have no clue on average on what an Uzbek birth certificate is to look like and not look like. Given how many countries there are and how many variations of birth docs there are -- think on the scale of at least tens of thousands of varieties issued over the past several decades -- this would be an invitation for innocent people to be harassed and discriminated against for all sorts of bad reasons too.

Originally Posted by jsnydcsa View Post
Don't many airlines (in the US, in my experience) ask for some sort of "proof" that the non-traveling parent(s) has/have given permission to the traveling-with-child-parent/grandparent/person to travel with the kid?
My extended family members have an extensive history of domestic and international travel where just one parent travels with the minor-age child(ren). For domestic travel, none of my extended family have been required to show any permission letter. I'm talking thousands of trips. While there may be some nosy, airline busy-body reps who whip up paranoid fantasies in their own head and make a stink over such (and there have been), it is very, very rare -- we've never had it happen.

Domestic or internationally, the airline or immigration/customs demanding the permission letter of a parent is a ridiculous thing, as it could be easily faked/fraudulent by those who are willing to engage in or facilitate kidnapping of their own child. A fake/fraudulent representation being a violation of the law is going to prevent someone from breaking that law when already inclined to break anti-child-trafficking laws? Not ordinarily.

Originally Posted by jsnydcsa
When applying for kids' US Passports, if both parents could not be present at the time of application (and in-person application is required), then the parent applying had to have notarized permission from the non-present parent to get the kid a passport.
Most commonly, but not always. We have rules in place to allow US passports to sometimes be issued for young minors when only one parent is around with their child and seeks a passport for the child -- these aren't very common situations, but they are routine situations.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jun 12, 14 at 4:58 pm
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Old Jun 13, 14, 3:13 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
I have three birth certificates issued by three countries in three different languages, none of which are commonly understood.
In such a case, you can go to the nearest South African consular post and have them notarise a translation that will be acceptable for SA Immigration.
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Old Jun 13, 14, 3:55 am
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
In such a case, you can go to the nearest South African consular post and have them notarise a translation that will be acceptable for SA Immigration.
The key word here is "nearest".

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Old Jun 13, 14, 3:57 am
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Airlines unprepared for new immigration regulations

"Airlines are at a loss as to how to communicate the new regulations to their passengers and how to adjust their cancellation policies to assist stranded passengers."

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Old Jun 13, 14, 4:26 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
The key word here is "nearest".
The nearest South African consular post is almost certainly nearer than South Africa itself. If you can make a journey to South Africa, you can make a journey to the Embassy.
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Old Jun 13, 14, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
In such a case, you can go to the nearest South African consular post and have them notarise a translation that will be acceptable for SA Immigration.
Translation or not, that involves additional costs.

And it's not as if even the nearest South African embassy/consulate is necessarily going to know that the issued birth certificate for say a formerly stateless person who is now only a Dutch citizen is valid or fraudulent.

Higher costs imposed by way of paranoid, nosy government busy-bodies' favorite new measure of the day act as a restraint on trade; and in this case would frustrate/reduce the maximization of tourism revenue. Is losing legitimate tourism revenue a good thing?
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