Unabridged Birth Certificate South Africa

As set out by the new South African immigration regulations published on the 1st of June 2015 and amended on the 23rd of October 2015, all South African citizens under the age of 18 (minors) travelling out of the country will have to produce an unabridged birth certificate in addition to their passports when both entering and exiting any South African port of entry.

  • Minor children from non-visa exempt countries will require a standard original birth certificate and, as necessary, parental consent or certified copies to be submitted during the visa application process. Unaccompanied minors will continue to have to provide proof of identification of the individual to receive them in South Africa by way of a certified copy of the respective party’s identity document, valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit.
  • Minor children from visa-exempt countries are no longer required to present an unabridged birth certificate, they are advised to have proof of relationship and consent from the absent parent/s or guardian/s.

What is an Unabridged Birth Certificate?

An unabridged birth certificate contains the identity document number, first name and surname, date of birth, place of birth, and country of birth of not only the minor to which it belongs, but for both parents or legal guardians as well. If the original unabridged birth certificate is not written in English, then a sworn English translation performed by an accredited authority in the minor’s country of origin is to be provided.

Travelling Requirements

The South African Immigration Act’s requirements for travelling minors are contingent on whether they are accompanied or not. Below are the travel requirements for South African minors entering or exiting the country.

Minors travelling with Both Parents
  • Valid passport.
  • Unabridged birth certificate.
Minors travelling with One Parent
  • Valid passport.
  • Unabridged birth certificate.
  • Affidavit expressing consent from the absent parent.
  • Court order granting full parental responsibilities to the legal guardian/parent accompanying the minor. The affidavit should be no more than 3 months old. In the event that the absent parent is deceased, then a death certificate will be required.
Minors travelling with an Adult
  • Valid passport.
  • Unabridged birth certificate.
  • Affidavits from the minor’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) expressing consent for the minor to be accompanied by the respective adult.
  • Contact details of parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
  • Copies of the ID documents or passports belonging to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
Minors travelling Unaccompanied
  • Valid passport.
  • Unabridged birth certificate.
  • Proof of consent from one or both of the minor’s parents or legal guardians (can be in the form of a written letter or affidavit). If proof of consent is only obtained from one parent, then a court order granting full parental responsibility to the consenting parent will also be need to be produced.
  • The particulars of the individual to receive the minor in South Africa (contact details and residential address).
  • Copy of the identity document, valid passport, visa, or permanent residence permit of the individual to receive the minor in South Africa.
  • Contact details of the minor’s parent(s )or legal guardian(s).
Special Precautions

Please note that handwritten unabridged birth certificates will only be accepted in the event that a citizen’s country of origin exclusively provides them in that format. All unabridged birth certificates obtained from the South African Department of Home Affairs must be printed out; handwritten documents will not be accepted.

How can I get an Unabridged Birth Certificate?

You can apply for your child’s South African unabridged birth certificate at your nearest Department of Home Affairs. In order to apply you will need your ID document as well as your child’s ID number. Please note that an unabridged birth certificate currently costs R75 and can take up to 8 weeks to be processed. Furthermore, all submitted documents must be originals or certified copies. If your child was born after the 14th of March 2013, then you should already be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate.

To download the Department of Home Affairs’ Unabridged Birth Certificate information pack, click here.