South Africa has had a problem with children travelling in and out of the country without the permission of their parents or guardians, so on 1st June 2015 it introduced tight rules to try to prevent this.
If the rules are broken, the child will not be allowed into South Africa, and the airline will refuse to allow the child to fly. This has caused many problems.
There is now a form which needs to be completed by parents or guardians, and this should also be signed by a Notary Public. For more information, see this British Airways document here.
However, please check before relying on this information, because the South African Government has said it is making some changes, and you need to be sure you have the latest details.
- Although the suggested form says that it should be signed by a Commissioner for Oaths, we take that to mean a South African (not UK) Commissioner for Oaths. We have heard of parents who had their form witnessed by a UK Solicitor, and when the child went to the airport he was refused permission to travel. The safest approach is to have the form witnessed by a Notary Public, whose seal and signature are always legally valid in South Africa.
- We will need to see the child’s full birth certificate (not a short one) and/or other relevant documentation, to verify that the correct people are giving permission for the child to travel. Please ask us if you need more information about this.
There has been a tragic case of a little boy being refused permission to see his grandparents in South Africa, because his parents had not checked on what documents were needed, read about it on Mail Online here.
If you wait until you are at the airport before getting the paperwork right, almost certainly you will be too late!
To find out more about our Notary Public services, click here or call us on 01242 235202.