Read: A drop in tourist numbers. This is compulsory in the case of South African children. Children from visa-exempt countries are strongly advised to carry these documents as necessary, while children needing a visa will have to present it during the application process where it applies.
Unabridged Birth Certificate
When couples are divorced: The Immigration Amendment Act is not entirely clear on the requirements in the case that parents are divorced. Pokroy suggested that a certified copy of the divorce order should be carried in addition to the letter of consent from the other parent and a copy of their identity document.
If the parent not travelling with the child has refused to give consent, then the other parent will have to get a court order, he said. When one parent has died : If one of the parents has died, a certified copy of the death certificate must be taken along. When the father is unknown: The mother will need to show an affidavit saying that she is solely responsible for the child, said Mayihlome Tshwete, spokesman for the Minister of Home Affairs.
How do I get Home Affairs to give me my birth certificate?
Newborn babies will receive an unabridged certificate free of charge. However, if you want to apply for an unabridged certificate, visit any Home Affairs office and take:. If you're waiting on the unabridged birth certificate and need to travel, consider asking a Home Affairs office for a letter that provides the details of both parents.
Your child will be able to travel when you receive this letter. Replacing lost certificates. If you're outside the country, you can apply at a South African mission, consulate or embassy. More information. Learn more about the amendments to the Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act or contact Home Affairs customer care on Skip to main content.
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Although the bulk of its staff do an outstanding job dealing with the often irate public, its filing system is dysfunctional. In some instances, tales of missing paperwork and misplaced official documents abound.
Fast-track your unabridged birth certificate application
Infrastructural inadequacies aside, misplaced original application forms, missing records and lost certificates and documents is a grave concern for the public, South African citizens, visitors and foreign nationals seeking to make South Africa their home and permanent place of residence. It is here that births and deaths are registered; marriages are certified; residence and study permits are approved or declined, and passports and Identity Documents are issued. The Department of Home Affairs holds birth, marriage and death certificates and records relating to immigration, naturalisation and name changes.
Civil registration of births was only introduced in parts of South Africa in the late s and was not compulsory until Marriage records were first registered in the Cape in and in other areas in the midth century and afterwards. Records of births and marriages up to about are held in the National Archives in Pretoria and in various provincial archive repositories. Death notices, deceased estate files and other records may also be found in the National Archives and provincial repositories, but the cut-off date for these varies. No central database of these records is available to the public.
South African citizens, immigrants and emigrants all rely on the Department of Home Affairs and its paperwork for a number of things. Without the correct paperwork people cannot open bank accounts, work, and purchase or rent accommodation and ultimately are at risk of being declared illegal in their homes.
Missing documents at the Department of Home Affairs – Opinions – Archival Platform
Most people that have been to Home Affairs have found it to be an unpleasant and time-consuming experience. There are a few positive encounters but these seem to be exceptions.
Upon arrival at Home Affairs visitors join the queue which usually, at least on my visits, snakes outside the building. The sub-contracted security officials act as ushers, welcoming visitors whilst ensuring that no one jumps the queue.
Two Home Affairs officials at a small desk issue each visitor with a numbered card and explain which counter to queue at. All new applications are dealt with on the ground floor which does, since the refurbishment, run more smoothly. The automated computerised queue management system helps the Department to monitor how many people are served on a daily basis and has made queuing more civil.
Counters on the first floor are reserved for collections of a range of paperwork, including unabridged birth certificates, death certificates, residence permits, visas and identity documents. Here, there is no automated queuing system and again it is security guards that offer guidance and help to visitors. It is also here that re-applications are submitted, confusion reigns and frustration brews for many people, mostly parents. All parents have to register their children and, for those children born prior to , have to apply for an unabridged birth certificate.
This document is of critical importance. It is not only needed to prove the parent-child relationship and country of birth but is also needed for claiming citizenship; to apply for a child to attend school; for a child to obtain an ID document; to acquire a passport; and, more recently, for a child to travel. The unabridged birth certificate is the focus of this post which commences with a personal account of how to obtain one and the challenges encountered at the Cape Town DHA.
It moves on to discuss the role of unabridged birth certificates in human trafficking, children travelling and identity theft.
Legalities and potential pitfalls
Prior to March abridged certificates were issued to parents at birth registration 1 and thereafter parents could apply for an unabridged copy. In the abridged certificate was scrapped and now the DHA issues unabridged certificates as part of the registration of births process.
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However, there is a huge backlog and a massive demand for unabridged certificates. In December the DHA announced that abridged certificates would no longer be issued at registration of births in part to correct the duplication of Identity Documents, identity fraud and human trafficking, but also to enforce the South African Citizenship Amendment Act of The main objective of the act would be to amend the acquisition of citizenship and provide that any person born of a South African citizen acquires citizenship by birth if born in or outside the Republic, which is a departure from the current act, which makes citizenship of a person born outside of the Republic as citizenship by descent, even though one of the parents is a South African.