Monday, 22 June 2015

App guides parents through child visas

A local internet app that helps parents navigate South Africa’s maze of new child visa regulations has been accessed more than 8 000 times in its first three weeks.

The South Africa Child Visa Checklist app, which went live on May 30, is a free web-based service created by travel company the Discover Africa Group.
The app was set up after strict new regulations for children under 18 travelling to or from SA came into effect on June 1 despite opposition from within the tourism industry.
The regulations include the need for children to have an unabridged birth certificate, and other documents on a case-by-case basis, including court orders and adoption certificates.
The app was first developed as an in-house aid for travel consultants, before being published online for anyone to use.
Its creators said it was developed to “simply explain” the 15 different documents and 37 “unique scenarios” for children travelling in and out of SA.
“(It) removes the fear, uncertainty and complexity faced by parents trying to work out exactly which documents they need when travelling with their youngsters.”
Discover Africa Group spokeswoman Asanda Mcoyana said this week the app had been shared 1 500 times on Facebook since its launch.
She said the group had received “thank you” e-mails from travel agencies abroad.
Many agents said that they been using the tool to advise their clients travelling to SA.
The app, which can be accessed on mobile and desktop devices, gives users a step-by-step guide to which documents they need when travelling to or from SA with minors.
It does this by asking multiple-choice questions of travellers, such as who the child is travelling with; if the child’s parents are married, divorced or legally separated; and if the child has been adopted or is in foster care.
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