Since 1 June 2015, parents travelling to
South Africa with a child under the age of 18 must, in addition to
producing a valid passport and (where required) a valid visa for
the child, also produce a full, unabridged birth certificate as
proof of parenthood.
In addition, where only one parent is
travelling with a child, such parent must also provide a court
order granting parental responsibilities and rights or legal
guardianship in respect of the child and in certain circumstances,
a 'Parental Consent Affidavit' as evidence that the other
parent consents to the child's travel (dated no more than 4
months before the date of travel) or a court order giving
permission for the child to travel. The rules about which of these
documents are required and what they must contain are complicated
and depend upon whether the parents are legally divorced or merely
separated and the rights that the parents have in respect of the
Different rules about what a parent
travelling with a child must provide also apply in circumstances
where the other parent is deceased and in circumstances where the
child is travelling with a person who is not the child's
biological parent. Where a parent is unable to consent to the
travel by a child due to recent death, or mental or physical
disability, then persons acting on behalf of the child may apply
for a special dispensation in lieu of the parental consent
Unfortunately these changes are likely
to result in families visiting South Africa becoming caught up in
red tape and delays and in the worst case scenario being turned
away at immigration. Given the complexities of the rules, it is
strongly advised that anyone proposing to travel to South Africa
with a child obtains legal advice from a solicitor who specialises
in international children law.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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My friend was married to a Muslim man and they had a daughter together before he divorced her. He recently passed away, leaving another daughter from his first wife, whom he divorced before marrying my friend.
Question: My husband is in the process of divorcing his other wife. However, he is unsure whether after the divorce she can stay in the UAE with his children under his visa...
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