Update on unabridged birth certificates

Travellers who have applied for their unabridged birth certificates at least eight weeks prior to the June 1 implementation of the new immigration regulations and have not received them, can write to the Director General of the Department, who will then grant them permission to travel without it, Department of Home Affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete told TAM.

This follows reports that suggested that travellers who had applied for unabridged birth certificates before the June 1 implementation of the new immigration regulations would still be allowed to travel if they hadn’t received their documents in time, provided they received a letter from their respective Home Affairs branches confirming their application.

Tshwete explains: “If you have applied for the unabridged birth certificate, and you have waited the eight weeks (the maximum waiting period required for the issuing of the document), then you can write a letter to the Director General of the Department (Mkuseli Apleni) who will then grant you permission to travel without it.” Apleni’s email address is available on the Home Affairs website <http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/index.php/contact-us/27-dha-leadership. >

It is important to note that this is the case only if you have applied on time, you have waited your eight weeks, and the Department has still not issued your unabridged birth certificate before June 1, Tshwete notes.

Thabo Mokgola, Home Affairs media liaison officer, confirmed: “You would send your request to the head of the Department, who is the Director General, although the head of the branch is the one who would conduct the process on an operational level. But just to be on the safe side, address your request to the Director General, as it is his prerogative to issue the permission.”

Tshwete also confirmed that if travellers had left South Africa before the June 1 implementation of the new regulations, they did not then need to apply for an unabridged birth certificate abroad to regain entry into the country. “However, if you want to leave once the rules have been implemented, but you do not have the unabridged birth certificate because you did not apply in time, you cannot leave.”