South Africa. Entry Regulations. Reminder to parents travelling with children

There are continued report of parents travelling with children being denied boarding at their airport of departure for South Africa. The confusion is over the small, “short Birth Certificates” which are unabridged and do not hold both parents’ details. These are not acceptable in this case. Recently British Airways refused boarding to parents with two children, going on £8,000 safari, as they only had the small unabridged short certificates with them. They were denied boarding and could not go on holiday. As cancellation fees were enforced they were only able to recoup a fraction of the amount paid for their holiday.


1. Parents travelling with children must carry the full unabridged birth certificates. This means that the full details of each parent must be included in the certificate

2. There are additional requirements if just one parent is travelling

3. There must be two clean pages in each passport

FCO advice

The new immigration rules introduced by South Africa in June 2015 relating to travelling with children remain in force. Parents travelling with children (under 18) will be asked to show the child’s full unabridged birth certificate. The full unabridged birth certificate should list the child’s details and both parents’ details. The abridged (short) birth certificate which only lists the child’s particulars will not be accepted. The South African Department of Home Affairs are not accepting uncertified copies of birth certificates or copies of the parents/guardians identification.