Children will no longer need unabridged birth certificates to travel in and out of South Africa on SA Airlines or any other major international airlines. As part of a drive to modernise their processes, Home Affairs have dropped the need for children to travel with unabridged birth certificates – but only if both parents are listed in the child’s passport. Children who do not have their parent’s full names in their passports still need to produce the unabridged birth certificate.
The update will make a huge difference in the lives of parents travelling with children. The law has caused many to be stranded at airports without the correct documentation and the long delay for issuing unabridged birth certificates from Home Affairs has meant many families had to cancel their trips and travel plans.
To increase safety and curb rising child trafficking statistics, the department changed its legislation in 2014 which introduced the new law that requires all children to travel with unabridged birth certificates. The effects were detrimental to the South African travel industry.
The changes to this legislation will simplify the process and put South Africa in line with many other countries that already list children’s parent’s details in their passports. However, travellers to South Africa would still need to present their children’s birth certificates if their passports did not carry details of both parents.
Home Affairs is finding ways of ‘meeting the future’ by embracing advancements in technology and rising to the opportunities it presents. Alongside the changes to children’s passports and birth certificate requirements, a new automated biometric ID system will be phased in, with system upgrade rollouts across the country and the introduction of paperless applications.