Because of the ever-increasing incidents of child abductions in disputed custody cases as well as child pornography and abuse, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) recommends that unless a child is accompanied by both parents, a statement be provided which grants permission to individuals traveling with their children.
While CBP may not necessarily ask for this type of documentation, and the U.S. does not require it by law, many other countries do and failure to produce permission to travel with a minor child can result in delays or refused entry. For instance, Canada has very strict requirements in this regard. If CBP requests a statement from the parent(s) and you cannot produce it, you risk being detained.
A statement of parental consent to travel should include: Who, What, Where, When and Why. The note should also contain the parents contact information and it is highly recommend that it be notarized. For situations where there is no other parent with legal claims to a child any other relevant documentation such as a death certificate, birth certificate containing only one name, or sole custody agreement should accompany the travelers. In cases where the child is traveling with other relatives or friends, the statement should be signed by both parents. Rosanna Berardi has an intricate knowledge regarding all areas of U.S. immigration law. She appears at the Peace Bridge on border matters regularly. We urge you to contact us by calling 877-721-6100 or send an e-mail by clicking here.
Page summary: Individuals traveling with minor children should carry parental consent.