Taking a trip out of the country requires a great deal of planning and preparation, especially when it comes to making sure that you have the appropriate documents for travel. When you add children to the process, it becomes even more complicated. Different scenarios will require various types of documentation.
Necessary Documents for All Children
Children of all ages, including infants, are required to have the same documentation as adults when traveling out of the country. In most cases, this includes a passport and any other paperwork required by the particular country you will be visiting. It is important to find out ahead of time exactly what will be needed so that there are no surprises along the way. .
Letters of Parental or Guardians Consent
More and more children nowadays are traveling with one parent, grandparents, relatives, friends, and even school groups. Because of the growing number of custody disputes, child abduction and child exploitation, Customs and Border Protection strongly recommends carrying a note of permission from one or both parents. In fact, this letter or form is mandatory in many countries. A consent to travel letter should acknowledge that your child has permission to travel out of the country, which they will be traveling with, and must be signed by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and notarized. Other information may also be necessary. Download Sample Here. Most countries require the letter to be notarised and legalised.
Child Traveling with One Parent/Guardian Who Has Sole Custody
If you have sole custody of the child you are traveling with, a consent letter is not needed but you may be asked to show a court order as proof of your custody rights.
Child Traveling with One Parent/Guardian Who Does Not Have Sole Custody
If you as a parent have joint custody along with the other parent of your child, a travel consent letter must be signed by the parent not traveling with the child.
Child Traveling with a School, organisation/Group or Anyone Who is not a Legal Guardian
Whether your child is going on a school trip or traveling with relatives or friends, a travel consent letter must be signed by everyone not traveling with the child who has the legal right to make decisions on behalf of the child. If only one parent is authorized to make legal decisions, a copy of the court order showing custody rights must be carried.
Remember: The permission letter must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public. The Notary will attach an attestation certificate and notarised copies of identification documents, birth certificate, passport or court order. Depending on the destination country these documents will be legalised for use outside the borders of South-Africa.
Louwrens Koen Attorneys have a drafting, attestation, and legalisation service regarding any Permission for a minor child to travel.
This service among other things includes:
Drafting the Permission letter;
Consultation and Appearance before a Notary Public to sign;
Notarial attestation certificate by Notary confirming, identity and signature of the parties;
Notarially certified copies of Birth Certificate, Passport of minor and passport of parent or guardian;
Legalisation or the placement of an Apostille on the permission and copies (attendances at the High Court, Foreign Affairs and Embassy).
Contact us to get the process started.
Download complimentary sample letter here.
Louwrens Koen Attorneys 012 3430267 ext. 4
or fill in our Online Application Form.
Download PDF Application Form
Unsure about the process or necessity to produce permission letters, please do not hesitate to contact with us.
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Notary Public South-Africa
Park Street 755, Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng, South-Africa
Also consider: Medical Authorisation Letter
Medical care is a concern for parents when their children travel. If your child is traveling with anyone other than yourself or another legal guardian, it is prudent to sign a medical consent agreement giving permission for the person supervising your child to authorise medical care in case you cannot be contacted in an emergency.
Regarding health insurance, you should not assume that your policy will cover your child no matter where he/she travels. Many medical aids provide medical cover if notified of your travel arrangements before departure. Some medical aids provide no medical cover outside the borders of South-Africa. It is imperative that you find out if your medical aid policy applies. If not, you may want to purchase separate insurance for the trip.
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Louwrens Koen Attorneys delivers a comprehensive Apostille Legalisation Certificate Service for documents destined for any country in the world.
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