The Immigration Service would like to advise all persons travelling with children under the age of 18 to South Africa of a change in entry regulations. 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.
These changes are expected to be implemented on Wednesday 1October 2014. There is no change to Ascension Island or UK entry controls relating to children at this time.
For children born in 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 Wednesday 1 October 2014, 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.
Further information is available from the Immigration Office in Ogborn House, Jamestown – telephone no: (00290) 22236.
18 July 2014