South Africa: Unabridged Birth Certificates No Longer Required for Overseas Tourists

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is expected to make an announcement soon that unabridged birth certificates will no longer be required for overseas tourists travelling to South Africa with children.

The regulation, which came into effect five years ago, requires anyone 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.

Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qozo told SAnews that they still have to communicate the decision with all the stakeholders.

"The Minister has indeed taken the decision the unabridged birth certificates will no longer be required for overseas tourists travelling to South Africa with children," Qozo said.

According to Qozo, this is expected to happen this week.

SA's tourism industry is happy with the announcement as it believes that this is going to increase tourism in the country. SA Tourism has been trying to fight this rule since its inception.

All children born in South Africa must be registered within 30 days of their birth (in terms of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992.)

Once the child's birth has been registered, an unabridged birth certificate is issued free of charge, usually a day or so after the registration application has been submitted.

Children born out of wedlock are registered under the surname of the mother. They may also be registered under the surname of their biological father provided that the father acknowledges paternity and both the father and the mother consent to the registration of the child under the father's surname in the presence of a Home Affairs official.

Form BI-24 must be completed (with black ink only) and it must be submitted to the nearest office of the Department of Home Affairs if you are in South Africa, or the nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate if you are overseas.

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