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Passports and visas

Make sure you travel with a valid passport and relevant visa so you can have an enjoyable trip.

Below are some guidelines regarding countries where visa and permit requirements have recently changed, or otherwise have special stipulations concerning entry. 

'Label-free visas' for Mainland Chinese passengers

The new arrangements approved by the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China and the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship allow persons travelling to Australia on any Australian visa to travel without a physical visa label in their passports (i.e. “label-free visas”). 

These following arrangements apply to Chinese and other nationals departing from in the People’s Republic of China:

If you are travelling from an airport in Mainland China to Hong Kong (or any other international transit point) en route to Australia, it is strongly recommended that you ensure that the airline at your point of departure is able to issue your boarding pass to Australia. The Ministry of Public Security has advised that unless a passenger has a boarding pass for Australia, he/she will be unable to travel with a label-free visa. In this situation, you should request for a visa label with the relevant Australian authorities, or reconsider your route.

For more details of this new arrangement, please refer to the website of the Australian Embassy in China:

We hereby remind our passengers:

  • You are highly recommended to book the whole journey on Cathay Pacific Airways/Cathay Dragon operating flights if you are holding the above mentioned “Label-free visa”.
  • At the airport, you should make sure all boarding passes have been issued to you during check-in, from the point of departure in Mainland China to your final destination in Australia.
  • If you need to make a stopover in Hong Kong during the outbound China journey, you should arrange for a visa label with the relevant Australian authorities.

Passengers holding New Zealand passports are advised to check with the New Zealand Government Travel Advisory website prior to travel for up-to-date information and travel warnings.

Passengers entering India are required to apply for their Indian visa online a minimum of four days in advance of their date of arrival. For more information and the latest list of nationals required for e-Tourist Visa (eTV), please visit Tourist Visa, Link opens in a new window operated by external parties and may not conform to the same accessibility policies as Cathay Pacific

Children under 18

The South African Department of Home Affairs requires all children under 18 years of age, travelling to or departing from South Africa, must hold the following:

When travelling with BOTH parents

An original unabridged birth certificate OR a copy of the birth certificate if the children’s passport does not contain details of the parents. Otherwise, no extra documentation is needed.


When travelling with ONE parent

An original unabridged (full) birth certificate OR a copy of the birth certificate; AND one of the following:

  • A copy of the passport of the absent parent or legal guardian of the child
  • A parental consent letter issued by the absent parent stating consent to travel. The letter must be in English and must be issued no more than 6 months prior to the date of travel; OR
  • A court order granting full parental responsibilities to the present parent;OR
  • In case the other parent is deceased, a death certificate.


When travelling with an adult other than a parent

  • An original unabridged or a copy of the birth certificate; AND
  • A parental consent letter issued by the parents or legal guardians, stating consent to travel; AND
  • Copies of identification documents of parents or legal guardians AND
  • Contact details of parents or legal guardians AND the person where the minor will stay in South Africa.


When travelling as an unaccompanied minor

  • An original unabridged (full) birth certificate OR a copy of the birth certificate; AND
  • A letter from the person receiving the children in South Africa, containing address and contact details; AND
  • A copy of identification documents of the person receiving the children, including visa or residence permit (if required); AND
  • Contact details of parents or legal guardians; AND one of the following:
    1. Parental consent letter issued by at least one parent or legal guardian, stating consent to travel; OR
    2. Consent from one parent together with a court order granting full parental responsibilities.

Please note that the birth certificate must include the information about the children's parents. All documents issued in a language other than English must also be accompanied by a sworn translation into English. Failure to ensure these new requirements will result in passengers travelling to or departing from South Africa being denied travel.

The requirement mentioned above may not be applicable to a passenger remaining in transit, unless he/she requires a transit visa. The unabridged certificate should be submitted during the transit visa application process and both the certificate and visa should be carried on person whilst travelling.


  • No supporting documents will be required in the case of minors in direct transit at an International Airport.
  • Minors in possession of valid South African visas shall not be required to produce the supporting documents when travelling through a port of entry of the Republic.
  • In the case of countries that endorse the particulars of parents in children’s passports, or other official identification documents, these documents shall be acceptable for the purpose of establishing the identity of parents of the travelling minor. (Example: Indian passports record the parents’ names on the passport. In this instance, the requirement of an Unabridged Birth Certificate may be dispensed with.)

For more information, please contact:

South African Department of Home Affairs

Local South African Embassy

Statement from Mkuseli Apleni, Director General Home Affairs, South Africa

Note:Third party websites are included for your information and reference only. Cathay Pacific Airways takes no responsibility for the content and accuracy of any such websites.

All leisure or business travellers to Sri Lanka are kindly reminded to obtain Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) before entering the country. Please visit for more information.

Travellers from all countries will no longer require landing cards on arrival into the UK.

For a quicker way to cross the border, nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America are automatically eligible for e-Gate usage at all UK airports. Find out more here.

Passengers from certain countries are able to travel to Vietnam and stay for a limited period of time without a visa, the duration of which varies for citizens from different countries. If you are eligible for a Vietnam visa exemption but plan on staying longer than the allocated number of days, you will need to apply for a visa online.