August 3, 2018 | Expert Africa
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration in Namibia confirmed this morning (1 August) that all children (under 18) visiting the country will now need to travel with a full, unabridged birth certificate if accompanied by both parents, in a change to current immigration practice. Those travelling with just one parent, with someone who isn’t a relation, or those travelling unaccompanied, will also need to provide additional information.
Coming at a time when a high number of families are travelling to the South African country, Africa specialist, Expert Africa, wants to ensure that the travelling public is aware of this important change.
Chris McIntyre, Managing Director of Expert Africa and author of the Bradt Travel Guide to Namibia, gives his reaction to the news: “Although we understand that this ruling initially came in late 2016, it has never previously been enforced. I travelled to Namibia with my two children that year and the immigration officials were unaware of the ruling. Now Namibia is enforcing these regulations rules in line with South Africa and Botswana, which already do so.
“This means that any families travelling to, or even through, Southern Africa need to take heed – even if they’re only connecting with flights at Johannesburg Airport. Most airlines will simply stop children boarding if they don’t have the correct paperwork.”
McIntyre continues: “We had a Belgian family who were denied boarding on a flight to Namibia via Doha last week. Luckily, as Belgian nationals, they were able to get a copy of the birth certificate required online and the airline accepted that. A UK national, however, wouldn’t have been so lucky.”
Detail of the new regulations mean that minors travelling with one parent are now required to produce an affidavit from the other parent, giving their consent, with a death certificate needing to be provided if one parent is deceased.
Children travelling with an adult who is not a biological parent will need an affidavit from both parents giving consent for the child to travel with the adult. Those travelling with an adult who is not their parent or legal guardian will also need to produce copies of their parents’ or legal guardians’ passports or identity documents, as well as their contact details.
An unaccompanied child will need an affidavit from their parents or legal guardians consenting to their travel, as well as contact information for their parents or guardians. Also required will be a letter and proof of the residential status of the person/s receiving them in Namibia, as well as a copy of their hosts’ passport, identity document or permanent residence permit.
For further information, or to talk to a safari specialist, call Expert Africa on 020 3405 6666 or visit www.expertafrica.com.