According to The Independent UK, an average of 10 families a day are being turned away from Heathrow because they are falling foul of the visa rules that require families to travel with an unabridged birth certificate.
One leading travel-industry figure, who did not want to be named, told the paper: “South Africa looks intent on shutting down family tourism. Kenya and Tanzania can’t believe their luck – this is the best promotion they’ve ever had.”
The rules were slightly relaxed earlier this month with Director General (DG) of Home Affairs Mkuseli Apleni explaining to ENCA that countries that are visa exempt do not require this unabridged birth certificate, but added:
“An immigration officer has a right to ask anybody who is traveling with a child that show me what’s your relationship with the child if you can’t produce that document you won’t be able to get into the country until you produce it.”
This has added further confusion to the already confusing visa rule. However, the general approach is “better safe than sorry”.