South Africa Simplifies Travel Requirements for Families

South Africa has amended its Immigration Act so families travelling to the destination from the UK and other visa-free countries don't need to carry birth certificates for children

The amendment to the law came into effect at the beginning of December.

The law had been introduced in 2015, in a bid to combat child trafficking. It required adults travelling with a child under 18 to provide the youngster’s full, unabridged birth certificate showing the names of both parents at airport check-in.

Parents travelling alone were required to provide a signed affidavit to prove the other parent had given consent for the child to travel.

The amendment had been promised several times, but not acted upon until now. Children who are not accompanied by both parents will still need to comply with special documentary requirements.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has not placed any new restrictions on visiting Ukraine as a result of martial law being imposed in border regions, but is warning UK passport holders that they may see an increased number of security forces on the streets as a result of the imposition of martial law in oblasts (regions) bordering Russia and Crimea. Among the regions affected is the Black Sea resort and important port of Odessa in the south of the country.

Martial law powers were announced by the Ukraine government on November 26 after the seizing of three Ukrainian ships by Russia allows the government to take a number of measures to strengthen its border.

The FCO website to travellers says: “ No curfew has been imposed. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities. Remember that it is a requirement of Ukrainian law that you should carry your passport with you at all times as proof of ID. Events in Ukraine are fast moving. You should remain vigilant throughout Ukraine, monitor the media and this travel advice regularly.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) however, advises against all travel to the troubled east of the country, the Donetsk oblast, Luhansk oblast and Crimea.