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South Africa officially scraps birth certificate rule

On November 14, 2019 / by Sherone Lewis / Leave a comment

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Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has signed a waiver which allows foreign children to enter South Africa without carrying additional supporting documents such as birth certificates and consent letters.

The rules, which were first introduced under former Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, required all people travelling with minors (under the age of 18) to produce an unabridged birth certificate, and a letter of parental consent if the child is not travelling with both parents, when departing from and arriving in South Africa.

In a statement, the Department of Home Affairs said that the waiver applies retroactively from Friday (8 November) following the minister’s signature.

The Home Affairs Minister said that the improvement in their admissions policy builds on the work the department has been doing to contribute to economic growth and investment.
The department had communicated the changes to immigration officials at ports of entry and to the airline and maritime industries.

He added that South African children are still required to provide supporting documents, in line with the requirements of the Children’s Act. The same applies to unaccompanied foreign children.

However, foreign children who require a visa for South Africa do not need to carry the supporting documents for inspection at a port of entry since these would be processed together with their visa applications.

The government is looking to prioritise immigration reform to attract skilled workers to the country. This has been an important part of finance minister Tito Mboweni’s growth plan, which proposed friendlier immigration regulations for foreigners with tertiary qualifications from accredited institutions.

In order to attract investment that will boost the South African economy, government is also working on improving business conditions through reforms such as an e-visa process and an electronic deeds registry system

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