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Legal Requirements When Travelling Abroad with a Minor

Whether you are going on a trip with your child, visiting relatives or just going on a school trip with your class, documentation and legal requirements are always important. Whereas adults will need just a passport, things become complicated when you’re traveling alone with a minor.

If you travel alone with a minor, you would need, besides a passport, a written consent from the child’s biological parent/s and the child’s birth certificate. Also, some countries ask for the consent document to be witnessed and notarized.

So, what other legal requirements should you consider when traveling abroad with a minor? Read on to find out.

Country-Specific Rules

You should keep in mind that every country has different rules, and each one has certain requirements when it comes to traveling with children. Before going anywhere, it’s better to do some research and ensure you are aware of what it requires. For example, this is how varied rules can be:

 

  • Mexico – Under the Mexican law, traveling with minors requires proof that the guardian/parent gives the permission, so you need the written consent. This applies if the minor is traveling alone or with a third party of legal age. It also applies if the minor is traveling by sea or air, and is using Mexican documents.

 

The consent document from both parents should be presented along with the passport in order to leave Mexico. The document should be in English but accompanied by a Spanish translation.

  • CanadaIf you decide to travel to Canada with a minor who is not your child, or for whom you do not have full legal custody, then you will need a special document. You will need to present a notarized affidavit of consent from the parents of the minor. It is a requirement from CBSA, so you should check the website for details. The document doesn’t have a specific form, but it includes the parents’ names, photocopies of their state-issued IDs and the travel dates.

Passport and Birth Certificate

A passport and birth certificate are the main documents that a child should have when traveling abroad, so the adult should make sure the child has them.

Consent Letter

As mentioned above, if you travel with a minor, you will need consent letters from the parents. If you are a parent traveling with your child, then a consent letter may be needed from the other parent.

If it’s impossible to obtain one, as the parents may be divorced, there should be a copy of the court order carried by the child, to show it to the border officer. If a parent can’t be contacted, it is advisable to obtain court orders that show the situation.

If there are problems in obtaining the consent letter, contact some litigators handling family trust legal matters. They should be able to help.

Medical Treatment Authorization Letter

If you travel with a child that is not yours, you should have a document that shows you are responsible for a child’s care if there’s any medical emergency. Therefore, if you travel with a minor under 18, you will need a medical treatment authorization letter.

Death Certificate Copy

This applies if one or both of the child’s parents are deceased. This is relevant, as it’s not possible to obtain a consent letter.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, traveling abroad with children requires a lot of attention and preparation with the right documents. Hopefully, this article helped and now you know what documents a child requires when traveling abroad.

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