International Minors Travelling to Mozambique via South Africa

Children travelling to Mozambique who are arriving via South Africa do need unabridged birth certificates. If the children are flying directly from an international destination, they do not need the certificate, only their passports. If the children are travelling with one parent, they need a sworn affidavit from the second parent permitting them to travel with that parent. If travelling alone, the children need to bring several documents which are detailed below.

The unabridged birth certificate is a South African legal requirement so it is not usually needed for entry into Mozambique – unless the children are flying from South Africa to Mozambique.

Entry into South Africa for Children

The South African Department of Home Affairs has firm laws in place regarding children travelling between South Africa and other countries. Foreign visa-exempt children only need a valid passport to enter South Africa. Any South African children need these documents to travel through any port of entry:

A child travelling with both parents needs:

  • valid passport
  • copy of a birth certificate / equivalent document or passport containing the details of the parent or parents of the child
  • A child travelling with one parent needs:
  • valid passport
  • copy of a birth certificate/equivalent document
  • parental consent letter
  • copy of the passport / identity document of the absent parent
  • contact details of the absent parent
  • where applicable-
  • copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child.
  • copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent

A child travelling alone needs:

  • copy of his /her birth certificate
  • parental consent letters
  • copy of the passport(s)/identity document(s) of the parent(s) / legal guardian(s)
  • contact details of the parent(s)/ legal guardian(s)
  • letter from the person who is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his / her residential address and contact details in the Republic where the child will reside
  • copy of the identity document / valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic where applicable
  • copy of an adoption order
  • copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent/ parents or legal guardian
  • copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child.

South African children do not need birth certificates if they are travelling on South African passports to South Africa or if the children carry a passport containing their parent’s/parents’ details. In addition, children who have a valid South African visa do need to present any documents already submitted as part of these visa applications.

Summary of the Unabridged Birth Certificate Rules for South Africa

As of November 2019, The South African Department of Home Affairs updated the requirements for minors (children under 18 years) to travel with birth certificates which states that minors travelling on South African Passports will have to show their passports as well as a birth certificate or equivalent document which shows the details of both parents for all international travel to and from South Africa. Extra supporting documents may be required should they fall into a specific category.

South Africans travelling with children younger than 18 (called minors) require passports AND a complete birth certificate detailing both paternal and maternal information. This is still the main document needed at customs to ensure smooth travel procedures. If a visa has been issued to a minor, the birth certificate would have been provided as part of the application process.

The department now only issues Birth Certificates displaying the details of both parents. All children under age 18 (minors) need this document and if they are travelling into and out of South Africa, they must now carry their own passport that shows the details of both parents and is set to be the main travel document.

If parents have applied for their child’s birth certificate but it is not ready or has not been received at the time of travel, they need to get an official letter from their nearest Home Affairs office stating this fact before they travel through a port of entry.