DHA makes visa and birth certificate requirement for minors concessions.

Airline check-in staff no longer have to ensure that foreign passengers are carrying an unabridged birth certificate (UBC) when travelling with a minor. This has been confirmed by Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Director General, Mkuseli Apleni.

This concession was confirmed during a media briefing on February 5 that also included information on other changes to the immigration regulations, which came into effect in June 2014, and which have now been completed.

The department had decided that the optimal way forward would be to confer powers on an immigration officer to exercise discretion to establish the relationship between the adult and travelling minor. The DHA has amended the Parental Consent Affidavit from four months to six.

Also noted was that as from December 2015, travellers transiting through Lanseria International Airport, OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town International Airport would no longer require transit visas.

The pilot project of capturing biometric data from foreign travellers at South Africa’s international airports had been completed and is now in full effect. All foreign travellers as well as transiting travellers, are submitting biometric data at arrival and transit counters at Lanseria, OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town International Airports. This does not apply to traveller’s who have had biometric data captured in their country of origin as part of their visa application process. In all other cases, foreign travellers passing through South Africa’s ports of entry will submit biometrics upon arrival and departure.

The Department confirmed that its’ Accredited Tourism Company programme for China, India and Russia (announced last year) was proceeding well. The programme allows accredited travel agents and tour operators to apply for a visa on behalf of the traveller. A number of tour operators in China have been accredited by the Chinese state and the DHA. These accredited agents and operators can apply for a visa on behalf of Chinese travellers and the traveller no longer has to apply for a visa in person. Travellers will still need to submit their biometric data on arrival in SA. The DHA said it was now conducting research in order to expand the programme to India and Russia.

Other visa concessions being finalised include investigations into the feasibility of issuing visas on arrival to travellers who already have a valid visa for the UK, USA, Canada and any other country that applies stringent checks on visitors to their country. Also under consideration is extending the SA visa waiver to include travellers from China, India and Russia. The department plans to have all changes to the immigration regulations completed by March 2017.

– The complete statement by the Home Affairs Director General can be read on the Department of Home Affairs website –