In July this year an SHG press release highlighted a change in entry regulations for persons travelling with children under the age of 18 to South Africa. The date that was previously announced for this change was 1October 2014. This date has been changed and revisions will now be put into effect from 1June 2015.
From 1June 2015 parents may be asked to show an Immigration Officer a full birth certificate (including both parents’ names) for all travelling children. This applies even when both parents are travelling with their own children into South Africa and has been introduced in an attempt to reduce instances of child trafficking through South Africa. This is not specific to St Helena – it applies to all children travelling through all South African sea and air ports. The revised regulations apply both to South African citizens and to visitors.
For children born on St Helena, birth certificates can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre in Jamestown. For those children born in the UK, the following address may be used to order a replacement birth certificate: https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp. Sufficient time should also be allowed ahead of your departure from St Helena to receive the certificate by post from the UK. A one day despatch service is available. Services vary in other countries.
Until the 1 June 2015, there is no country specific guidance for parents travelling with children to South Africa. However, single parents, or a parent travelling alone with their child or those travelling abroad with children for whom they do not have parental responsibility, should generally obtain an affidavit or letter of authority from person(s) with parental responsibility prior to travel. General UK guidance is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/permission-take-child-abroad.
There remains no change to Ascension Island or UK entry controls relating to children at this time.
Further information is available from the Immigration Office in Ogborn House, Jamestown – telephone no: (00290) 22626.
29 September 2014