Meaning of a child travel consent form
The minor travel consent form is filled by a legal guardian or a biological parent of the child confirming that they have allowed the child to travel in the company of an adult. The adult could be a rugby coach, a 6th-grade teacher, a grandparent, an aunt, or a Sunday school teacher.
The form can be presented to any person in authority that may ask for the document to prove you have authority for the minor to accompany you in your journey.
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How do I write a letter of permission for my child to travel?
One important thing you must consider when writing a letter of permission for your child to travel either non-accompanied or accompanied by someone else is the legal significance of the letter.
The child travel consent confirms that the authority behind the child, which is you the parent/ guardian has full knowledge of your child’s travel destiny including the purpose of travel, the timeframe within which your child shall be away, the places they will visit, and their travel financing.
If anything goes wrong during the travel, you could be held responsible in part because of the authority you signed and you may also use the letter as the basis of a legal suit against the person who accompanied your child in case it was their failure to perform their duty during the travel.
When writing the permission to travel letter, follow the following steps.
To start, download a child travel consent template to make your work easier. You can check your country’s embassy to see if they have customized letter templates for you to use or you may opt for printable or editable versions available online. If you find it fitting, you may seek advice from a children’s attorney before writing the consent letter.
- Know who to address
Identify the person you are addressing the letter to and it could be the embassy, a travel agency, a government entity, or an institutional administrative entity, and address the letter to them. Instead of addressing the person by gender, use the general official language “to whom it may concern” because you are not sure how many people may require to read the letter during your child’s travel.
- Have the details ready
Prepare a draft and note all the details you need to write the letter, even if you may know some of the details outright.
Write down the full name of your child. If you are writing a travel consent for more than one child, you may opt to write separate letters for each child or write one letter and give all their details in the letter.
Include their date of birth,
Check the passport number and write it down
The expiry date of the passport
Confirm the flight number
The name of the airline company
The boarding or departure time
Itinerary during the travel
Possible return date and time
Once you have gathered all the details of your child’s travel information, gather the details of the adult or adults they are traveling with including;
Their full name/names
Their relationship with your child
Why they are traveling with your child
If the child is traveling alone during the flight, include the name of the agency, institution, or individuals who will receive them once they land at their destination.
- Start writing
In the editable minor travel consent form, including the details above starting with:
The date of the letter.
Who you are: identify your self-according to you:
full legal names
And, state your relationship with the child.
In this case, identify yourself as the parent or legal guardian to the child and include the full name of the other parent, their passport number, and telephone to confirm their consent too.
- Give details of your consent
Give a detailed description of your consent including the reasons why you are issuing the child travel consent. For example; if your child is traveling for a concert, a wildlife expedition to Africa, or a visit to a relative, give details of the purpose of travel and why you feel it is important for your child to be part of the journey and remember to keep it simple and straight to the point.
- State the consent validity
Your permission to travel letter must not be open to an infinity timeframe but you must give a specific period like ‘my child shall be away between March 4 2021 to December March 19 2021 subject to any travel delays caused by local transport or international flights.
Conclude by again signing your name and where possible the name of other parent opening the room for any queries about the consent to be addressed to the undersigned and include the home and office telephone contact, email address, physical and postal address for ease of contact in the case of any eventualities or incidences. If possible, you may include the contact of a third person if either you or the other parent are not reachable by phone.
Read through and check if you missed any important details or if you overstated the travel details and adjust accordingly while at the same time checking on your grammar errors. You may give the other parent to proofread the consent or a third party to confirm if every detail is in order.
- Print and sign
Once you are fully satisfied with the details of the letter, print and sign the letter and let it be countersigned by the other parent if both parents are involved.
- Attach papers
Attach all necessary paperwork that gives the letter of consent weight in terms of authority which could include a copy of your passport or national identification and a copy of the minor’s birth certificate as proof of parenthood or guardianship and hand over the letter to your child or the person accompanying them.
How do I write a letter of consent for travel?
Like the letter of permission for my child to travel, the letter of consent for travel follows the same format. You should include the following:
- Name of the child or person traveling
- The person’s valid passport number
- Travel destination
- The departure and return dates
Just like the consent letter for your child to travel, include
- Your name
- Valid passport number
- Physical and postal address
- Telephone contact
- Email contact
In the body of the letter, give a detailed description of the purpose of the journey and the person your child or another individual is traveling with bearing in mind the travel expenses. Close by appending the signature of the writing authority and print the consent letter, then attach all the supporting documents.
If the child is traveling in the company of one parent, the other parent should write a letter of consent to travel with one parent. This can mostly happen if the parents are separated and the other parent feels the traveling parent might have negative plans for the travel.
In general, permission to travel letter should include the following details:
- The age of the child
- Date of travel and return
- Purpose of travel
- Parent’s/ guardian’s contact details including physical address
- An attachment of all relevant documents like a copy of the birth certificate and passport
Can a minor travel to the US without parents?
The U.S. immigration law considers a minor as any person under the age of 18 years and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is mandated by law to scrutinize documents for children entering the US territory to confirm that the minor traveled with consent from their parent(s) or legal guardian. If the minor is crossing the US border territory alone, the CBP will require the following list of documentation:
- A valid child’s passport
- Letter of travel consent from the child’s parent (s)
- Documents to show proof of parenthood or guardianship like birth certificate, adoption certificate, death certificate, or any other additional document providing proof of custody rights.
If the child fails to produce the above documents, the CBP is given the right to detain the child until the time they obtain clear information on the circumstance that leads the child to travel unaccompanied and without documentation.
Some of the reasons that could lead to a child traveling without documents are the death of both parents, child trafficking, a war in their mother country, or child delinquency and the child could be given asylum if the CBP proves beyond reasonable doubt the need for asylum.
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