The consultants at the Breytenbachs SA Immigration Department often have to assist South African citizens, with overseas-born children, with issues arising from the fact, that the children do not have South African or dual citizenship. We have thus compiled some advice in this regard, to make life and a visit to South Africa a little bit easier!
Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants highly recommend that if you are a South African citizen, and have children who are born outside South Africa, you register the children as South African citizens via the nearest SA Embassy or SA High Commission where you reside. The registration is done by using a foreign birth registration application.
This registration will make things much easier for parents planning to travel back to South Africa in future, as the children can then travel to South Africa on SA passports. This will prevent any overstaying issues to occur, and since South Africa do allow dual nationality status, children can then hold dual nationality status.
In this regard, clients have to keep in mind that all parties (adults and children) have to travel with their SA passports when entering and leaving South Africa and not the foreign passport.
For parents who do not wish to register their children as SA nationals, it remains of utmost importance to investigate Visitor Visa rules before entering South Africa.
In the case of South African parents, with British registered children, it is important to take note of the following;
British Citizens are exempted from South African Visa control, and will receive an automatic 90-day Visitor Visa upon entering South Africa. This is subject to a valid return air ticket. This Visitor Visa can be extended for another 90 days, but the extension application has to be submitted 60 days before the expiry of the original visa, which was granted upon entry. The endorsement of the extended Visitor Visa must be awaited, before leaving South Africa.
If a person is banned from returning to South Africa, following an overstay, it is possible to appeal such a decision. The Head Office of the SA Department of Home Affairs will make a decision whether or not to uplift the ban and allow the person to return to South Africa in future again as a visitor.
Unfortunately, such appeal applications are normally only approved if the applicant can show that he/she has utilized all possible means to remain a legal resident in South Africa. As many people unwittingly overstay on their visitor visa and unknowingly make no effort to apply for an extension of their visitor visa, it is often difficult to get a successful appeal.
Please also see this information from the SA Department of Home Affairs on the requirements for children travelling through South African ports of entry – http://www.dha.gov.za:8087/index.php/statements-speeches/621-advisory-new-requirements-for-children-travelling-through-south-african-ports-of-entry-effective-1-june-2015
Breytenbach Immigration Consultants Ltd (BIC) have a dedicated South African Immigration Department and are available to assist with any SA immigration queries or applications. Please feel free to contact us for more information.