Taken a child to South Africa? Lost Birth Certificate

(14 Posts)
ReggaeShark Sun 20-Mar-16 10:27:24

Has anyone travelled to South Africa with a child recently? Have discovered too late that they require original unabridged birth certificate. Can't find 14 year DS's BC. We leave on Thursday. Have ordered a copy via priority service but it may well not arrive on time.

If you took children to SA recently, at what point did they ask for the BC and does anyone know what might happen if we don't have it? Really worried now.

DesertOrDessert Sun 20-Mar-16 14:46:34

Don't know about the rules, but my BC, from longer ago that your sons, arrived the day after I ordered it - I used the 3 day service.
They must have got the request early morning, and caught last post that day. It was with my parents the day after. So you may well be fine.
Enjoy your trip.

Tactfulcactus Sun 20-Mar-16 14:57:45

We went to SA in September. They asked at check in as I saw the family in front of us showing them. My understanding is that airlines check because they know immigration controls are strict regarding this.
Hope yours arrives quickly. Is there any option for you to collect it in person.

SquadGoals Sun 20-Mar-16 15:03:47

I have been stuck 3 times in the past year behind families who don't have the birth certificate - once at check in in the UK and twice in the immigration queue on the SA side.

On the SA side, they were taken into a side room so don't know what happened. In the UK, there were lots of raised voices and they were repeatedly told that they would not be allowed to board unless they could get someone to bring the BC to the airport. This was with BA.

Hopefully it arrives soon. Is there anyway you could change flights to a day or so later to give you more time?

ReggaeShark Sun 20-Mar-16 16:35:19

I will phone tomorrow to ask if I can go to Southport to collect it. No other flights for days as it's Easter weekend (already looked into that for other reasons). Maybe I'll be lucky and it will be posted tomorrow and arrive Tuesday. Noone can tell us what will happen in SA if we arrive without. KLM weren't any help. Wonder what happened to that family at the airport.

Thanks for your replies.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 20-Mar-16 16:42:44

KLM won't let you travel without an unabridged birth certificate. They will refuse boarding.

If you managed to sneak through, you'd be turned round and sent home by immigration at ST once you arrived. If there's more than one child and adult in the party, they may allow one adult and the children with birth certificates if there are any, continue into the country if a signed affidavit is available. Typically they deport everyone.

I wouldn't risk it if you don't have the certificate in time. If you do, make sure your travel insurance will cover your costs if you are returned for something that they will view as being your fault.

I hope it comes in time!

ReggaeShark Sun 20-Mar-16 16:48:21

Thanks AnchorDown. Do you work for an airline? I'm bricking it here but annoyingly upbeat DH is convinced it will all be OK and we can go without if copy doesn't come in time. I am strongly disagreeing.

DesertOrDessert Sun 20-Mar-16 18:12:40

You've not got any of the other letters (child benifit?? Any other tax credit is similar letter from HMRC???) That state you as parents for your son?

ReggaeShark Sun 20-Mar-16 18:21:13

No we don't DOD so we would have been stuffed. But we're ok now. And the holiday has cost yet another £23 odd for a copy we no longer need. Hey ho.

SquirrelledAway Sun 20-Mar-16 20:23:41

Has it turned up now?

Our next door neighbour wasn't allowed to travel to SA without her daughter's birth certificate - not sure if it was KLM or BA (either would be an option from here) but they didn't get out of the UK. They had to rebook to travel a few days later.

ReggaeShark Sun 20-Mar-16 21:49:58

Oh I lost a post there. Yes we found it (well I did!). Good thing too from the sound of it.

DesertOrDessert Mon 21-Mar-16 05:01:00

Fab news. Better £23 down thana holiday down.

SquirrelledAway Mon 21-Mar-16 14:07:19

Yeah, the airlines are generally pretty hot on checking up on these things - they get fined if someone gets refused entry at the destination.

ReggaeShark Sat 26-Mar-16 18:34:28

Just to update, we sailed through check in at UK airport but were asked for DS'S BC on arrival in SA. Wd have made more sense to ask in UK I wd have thought.

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