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My youngest child is leaving the country. Do they need a travel permit? What you need to know

Permiso de viaje para menores

Sometimes, school or extracurricular activity leaders may organize trips outside the country and take younger children to enjoy some fun activities.

In other cases, a minor child may travel only with one of their parents or guardians. However, there are certain regulations you need to know before sending your child on a trip or traveling with him or her without the other parent.

Who checks that the documentation is in order and why?

This information we share comes from the United States Customs and Border Protection, the office in charge of border control at all limits of the country, by air, land, and sea.

The reason why this office requires certain documentation is to prevent the trafficking of minors and/or possible kidnapping of a child by a parent. In short, these documents are requested to protect minors.

What does this office request to authorize the travel of a minor and under what conditions?

Children under 18 who wish to travel without their parents or guardians must obtain a notarized letter/permission signed by the parent or guardian who is not traveling or by both if neither is accompanying their child.

Likewise, Customs recently emphasized that if an American citizen under 16 years of age, arrives by land or sea, whether from Canada or Mexico, they must present, in addition to their passport and the parental letter, an original of their birth certificate or naturalization certificate.

How to obtain the travel letter/permission?

A public notary must sign the travel letter or permission. You must demonstrate that you are the parent or legal guardian of the child by showing valid identification like your passport, driver’s license, or resident card. In addition, you must also have the child’s birth certificate showing their name.

That is why if you are traveling alone with your child, the other parent or guardian is the one who must notarize the letter so that neither you nor your child has problems. And if the trip is for a group or with other people, the letter must be authorized by both parents or legal guardians, as the case may be.

Notaries know how to make these travel letters or permissions, and they usually include the name of the person traveling with the minor and the dates and places of travel.

Contact an immigration lawyer

At Abogado Centro Legal, we know the legal procedures for requesting travel permits. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, we are happy to assist you.

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