The three documents every Sout

The three documents every South African abroad must have

(Partner Content) Aside from the obvious things like your ID, hand sanitiser and some in-flight entertainment of course, these are essential travel items.

The three documents every Sout

Regardless of whether you are travelling for business purposes or if you’re moving abroad, there are three essential documents that all South Africans need to have with them when travelling outside the borders of RSA.


A passport is a pretty obvious requirement for travel and any person that intends to travel abroad should have a valid passport. If you don’t have one yet, it’s vital to apply for it with the Department of Home Affairs well in advance of your intended travels. If your passport is due to expire within the next six months or has fewer than two blank pages, you’ll need to verify rules and restrictions regarding passport validity and expiry before you travel. Document assistance services like can assist you if you’ve got any questions about passports or need a helping hand with obtaining a new one. Unfortunately, Apostil cannot assist with passports as the person must be present themselves.

Birth certificate

Although the Department of Home Affairs has made it easier to travel abroad with children, having a copy of your kid’s unabridged birth certificate on hand is never a bad idea. In the past, anyone under the age of 18 travelling into or out of South Africa was required to submit an unabridged birth certificate. The DHA has since waived this rule and are now issuing minor passports that contain the details of both biological parents of the child. However, when travelling abroad, officials might still require to see the actual birth certificate, despite the minor passports. In some cases, like when trying to prove ancestral ties or claiming inheritance, you will also need to submit your unabridged birth certificate. Whether you need it or not, we reckon it’s always better to be safe (document wise) than sorry.

Status verification

South Africans travelling abroad will often be required to verify their marital status. This means proving that you are either married, divorced, or have the freedom to marry. Whenever South Africans want to get married abroad, they will need to submit a Letter of No Impediment, confirming their current marital status. If you were married in the past, you’ll need to submit a Letter of No Impediment together with a decree of divorce to prove that you are not currently married. These documents are all issued by the Department of Home Affairs and are valid for six months. During this time they can be used abroad for legal processes including visa and residency applications as well as marital procedures. Considering marriage with someone not from South Africa? Here’s what you need to know.

Final word

A lot of South Africans travelling abroad think that a police clearance certificate is one of the most important documents they’ll need on their travels. But contrary to popular belief, this is something that will only be required in a handful of scenarios. As you can see, the most basic documents are your passport, birth certificates, and a certificate validating your current marital status. Once you’ve got those three in place, you’re covered for most of the basic things. If you don’t have them yet, get in touch with today to find out how to apply and just how soon they can help you get your documents in your hands.