If you are planning to travel to South Africa with your family anytime soon, be aware that the country has implemented a new travel policy. Anyone entering South Africa with children will need to present the unabridged birth certificate of each child at all airports in South Africa. Travel and tourism groups in the country are worried that this new policy will have a negative effect on the tourism industry in South Africa. Tourism currently makes up 9% of the country’s gross domestic product.
So far, the new policy seems to be working fine and delays have not been reported in local airports, though the policy has now been in effect for a month. Only time will tell whether this policy will hinder travel to the region.
A birth certificate is one of those documents that you are supposed to guard as carefully as your passport or your Social Security card. However, many children who hold US passports do not have copies of their unabridged birth certificates. Whether the certificate got lost, destroyed, or was never in the family’s possession, bringing an unabridged birth certificate to South Africa could present a problem for a variety of US travelers.
Why the Change in Policy for South Africa Travel?
This new South Africa visa policy was put in place in an effort to hinder the trafficking of children into the country. It is meant to be a protective measure, and seems like a logical decision. That said, many tourism groups within the country are worried that the new policy will be too much of a burden for many travelers. They fear that this new policy will prevent families from heading to South Africa on vacation.
However, the new policy is currently in effect, and according to EWN, everything appears to be business as usual at South African airports. Of course, it is possible that the new policy simply isn’t being enforced, or it may just be that presenting an unabridged birth certificate isn’t as much of a challenge as the tourism groups insisted it would be.
In addition to the birth certificate policy, single parents traveling alone with their children will need to present a notorized affidavit proving that they have permission to be in the country with their children. If you have questions about this policy or any other concerns about obtaining a South Africa visa, give us a call today to learn more about the current requirements.