By Attorney Gail Seeram
Unless a child is accompanied by both parents while traveling internationally, the adult accompanying the child must have a note from the child’s other parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with grandparents, uncles or aunts, sisters or brothers, friends, or in groups*, a note signed by both parents) stating “I acknowledge that my wife/husband/etc. is traveling out of the country with my son/daughter/group. He/She/They has/have my permission.”
When traveling to the United States, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will ask for such written, signed, notarized consent, and if you do not have it, you may be detained until the circumstances of the child traveling without both parents can be fully assessed. If there is no second parent with legal claims to the child (deceased, sole custody, etc.) any other relevant paperwork, such as a court decision, birth certificate naming only one parent, death certificate, etc., would be required.
Failure to produce notarized, signed permission letters and/or birth certificates could result in travelers being refused entry into the foreign country. This strict international requirement protects children from kidnapping and international custody dispute. Passports are necessary for minors traveling abroad via air travel, whether they are traveling with their parents, alone or with another adult.
Further, if a child is seeking to get lawful permanent resident status (or green card) in the United States, a notarized, signed consent to emigrate to the U.S. is required by the non-custodial parent or parent living in a foreign country. If the non-custodial or divorced parent does not consent for the child to emigrate to the U.S. then the child is in the U.S. illegally and the U.S. government may be forced to return the child to his/her native country upon request of the non-custodial parent or parent living in the foreign country.
Note, the notarized signed consent for a child to travel to the U.S. (under a B-1/B-2) is different from the consent required when the child is seeking to obtain a green card in the U.S.
For more information, contact Gail Law Firm:
Email: [email protected]
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Copyright © Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
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