South Africa visa

South Africa documentation requirements

From 1 June 2015 there are some changes to South Africa’s immigration rules. This will affect everyone who has children 18 years and under when travelling to or from South Africa (with or without their parents or guardians). The requirements apply regardless of nationality. In order to be allowed to travel, customers impacted by this change must bring the necessary paperwork when travelling.

- Where parent/s are travelling with a child - the parent/s must produce an unabridged birth certificate for the child (certified copies are acceptable). And if both parents are not travelling, show consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent, or a court order, or (where applicable) a death certificate for a deceased parent.

- Where a person is travelling with a child who is not their biological child – he/she must produce an unabridged birth certificate for the child (certified copies are acceptable), affidavit from the child’s parents or legal guardian giving consent and copies of the identity documents or passport of the parents or legal guardian.

- Unaccompanied minors - must produce (i) consent for the child to travel into or depart from South Africa, in the form of a letter or affidavit from one or both parents or legal guardian (if only one parent then also a court order under which he/she has full parental responsibilities); (ii) a letter from the person who is to receive the child in South Africa, containing his or her residential address and contact details in South Africa where the child will be residing; (iii) a certified copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in South Africa; and (iv) the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.

Further information can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website (opens in a new window) or the UK Foreign and Commonwealth website (opens in a new window).

Alternatively please contact your local South African Embassy.

Heading to the wilds of South Africa? If you're staying for less than 90 days, you won't need a visa, however there are a few points you may want to consider.

  • Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 30 days from the date of exit from South Africa.
  • Some officials insist on two blank pages in your passport.

If you are in any doubt about the entry requirements into South Africa, please contact the South African High Commision.

Passport validity

  • Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 30 days from the date of exit from South Africa.
  • Although South African authorities state officially that only one blank passport page is required, some officials insist on two blank pages. You should therefore make sure you have at least two blank pages in your passport on arrival.
  • Please note - This guidance is for UK passport holders only. Passengers from other countries should check with the necessary Government department for travel information.

South African High Commission

  • Tel 0207 925 8900

Opening hours

Mon - Fri, 11:00 - 12:00

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