A visa is available free of charge to Dutch and Belgians at the border and is valid for stays shorter than 90 days (tourist visa). You will receive a sticker (or stamp) in the passport at customs or at passport control at the airport, this is almost half a page in size and must therefore have room for it. The passport must have at least two blank pages. The passport must still be valid for at least 30 days after returning to your home country. You must also have a flight ticket with confirmed return or transit flight.
If you stay in South Africa for longer than three months, we recommend that you contact us about the current state of affairs.
All children must have their own travel document / passport to enter South Africa. Being credited to the parents’ passport is not enough!
Legislation for traveling with children
The rules for minors at a glance:
Minors traveling with both (biological) parents
If the surname of the minor matches that of the (biological) parents, then only a valid passport needs to be shown. If the minor’s last name is not the same as that of both parents, it must be possible to show an original or an extract from the birth certificate in addition to a valid passport.
Despite the changes, some airlines still ask for the birth certificate. We advise you to ask the airline if a birth certificate is required or to take the birth certificate with you for security.
Minors traveling with one of the biological parents
If a minor travels with one of the (biological) parents, it must be possible to display the following in addition to a valid passport and an original or an extract from the birth certificate:
Permission letter or form from the (biological) parent or legal guardian who is not traveling with him. This must include the contact details and a copy of the parent’s passport that gives permission;
- Een brief die speciale omstandigheden aangeeft; of
A court order whereby full custody has been promised to the current parent.
- In the case where a parent has died, it must be possible to show a death certificate.
- If there is only one parent on the birth certificate, then it must be possible to show this or an extract thereof.
Minors traveling with an adult other than with one or both (biological) parents
- Permission letter or form from the (biological) parent (s) or legal guardian who is not traveling / traveling. This must include the contact details and a copy of the passport (s) of the parent (s) giving consent;
- Parents with adopted children who do not have a birth certificate or extract thereof must be able to show the adoption papers if requested.
Minors traveling to South Africa alone
In addition to a valid passport and an original or an extract from the birth certificate, the following must be shown:
- Permission letter or form from the (biological) parent (s) or legal guardian who is not traveling / traveling. This must include the contact details and a copy of the passport (s) of the parent (s) giving / giving consent (or permission from one parent, together with a court order whereby the current parent has been given full custody or a death certificate ; and
A letter from the person receiving / receiving the minor in South Africa, including the address and contact details, passport information and copy of this person’s passport.
Frequently asked questions about these new rules:
- Do the new rules only apply to travel in South Africa?
The rules apply to travel in and to South Africa as well as to transit in South Africa.
- Until what age do the new rules apply?
The rules apply to children up to 18 years.
- Do traveling parents and their children need an original birth certificate?
No, a certified copy of the original is also sufficient. This is available at the municipality where someone was born.
- How do customs officials in South Africa check Dutch papers?
If the names on the full birth certificate match the names on the passport. The full birth certificate is there to ensure that the child is traveling with the right parents or legal guardian. If the child does not travel with both parents, or is with someone else, then the correct papers must be taken (see above). Those papers must all be English.