New visa rules for children travelling into and out of Botswana
South African Airways (SAA) has advised that (following a decision by the Government of Botswana last month) new visa entry rules have come into force for children travelling into and out of Botswana.
SAA’s Country Manager for Australasia Tim Clyde-Smith said the Botswana Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs has stated that (effective October 1) it is imposing new requirements for any children under 18 travelling through the country’s ports of entry, including non-residents and foreigners.
“Coming into force last month and effective immediately, minors travelling through Botswana’s borders will need to produce certified copies of unabridged birth certificates in addition to valid passports,” Tim said.
“Where one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to travel should be presented. However, an affidavit will not be required if the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate,” he said.
“This will impact any child under 18 travelling with or without parents through Botswana and is already being strictly imposed. It results from increasing concerns at the incidence of child trafficking and is in line with UN recommendations.”
“We have already seen the imposition of similar regulations in South Africa which remain in place despite some South African Government discussion around possible changes. At this time the original regulations remain and can be found here
“SAA has advised all travel agents and partners across Australia and New Zealand. We hope that no passengers are inconvenienced by this new regulation but would request that people ensure they have the correct paperwork in place well before they leave to travel to Botswana, particularly at a very busy time of year,” Tim concluded.
Australians can contact the Botswana High Commission in Canberra on (02) 6234 7500 for more information.