The implementation of full-length certificates of birth for travel requirements of children had left their parents in a chaos. It has been announced by Malusi Gigaba the Home Minister of South Africa that the controversial laws would be simplified.
The simpler eligibilities for children under the age of 18 years entering the nation with their guardian or single parent is expected to be implemented from March 2017 after several months of appraisal.
Malusi Gigaba said that the instance wherein the receipt of a birth certificate is pending after application for obtaining the same and cannot be furnished at the time of travel, a formal letter endorsing this fact can be secured from the closest office of Home affairs prior to the travel from an entry port.
It was also recommended by the Home Minister that the parents in South Africa must apply for certificates of birth when they submit an application for passports of minors. The information of the parents would be included in their passports in the future. This will ensure that the certificates of birth will not be essential during the travel when accompanied by children, as quoted by IOL.
In addition to the criterions of visas and valid passports as applicable, this will be an extra requirement. This will also be applicable to an official declaration that approves the consent of the parent for the journey of the child in instances wherein one parent is abstaining from the travel.
This announcement was made after there were huge protests by the parents regarding the requirements of visa for children making a journey to the countries that have visa waiver.
In cases, where a visa is not mandatory for nations such as Britain the department of Home Affairs will issue a strongly worded advisory note for travel that advises parents to furnish a certificate of birth for their children.
It was needed because the department required setting up the liaison between the adult and the minor accompanying him/her.
Gigaba added that the immigration officer will have the discretion to approve the journey of the child and the adult based on the on the documents furnished and they are convinced regarding the relationship of the minor and the adult accompanying in the travel. In case the immigration officer is not convinced, they will be having the power to refuse the travel until indisputable evidence is provided, said Gigaba.
The department of Home Affairs was yet to issue the advisory as the establishment of the immigration advisory board was pending and waited by the officials. The changes have to be approved by the Minister for them to be published as a gazette declaring the final decision.
In order to cater to the downpour of travelers on vacation the Home affairs department has arranged for extra staff till the second week of January at the OR Tambo International Airport. The additional staff
will be working in two shifts every day at the peak hours between 6 to 10 in the morning and 4 to 8 in the evening.