Thursday, November 6, 2008

Permission for Children to Travel with Only One Parent

Updated 8 January 2017

Children travelling alone, with someone else, or with just one parent may need a notarised letter of consent from the other parent if they share legal custody. You can also read more about custody at HCCH.

If you're an American and trying to figure out how to get a passport without the other parent's permission, read the post about custody vs. parental rights and international child abduction.

Some people have taken their kids and never been asked for a permission letter, others have been grilled with questions. I personally would just get one to be on the safe side.

If Both Parents Have Custody
This rule is for when the couple is married or if the other parent has officially recognised the child as being his/hers. This means that BOTH parents are on the birth certificate.
  1. A recent apostillised birth certificate for your child. If it's not in Spanish, it will have to be officially translated into Spanish.
  2. A notarised letter. See Letters to immigration for the format. (If the child travels outside of Peru alone, both parents will have to sign the letter. If the child is travelling with one parent, then the other will have to sign the letter.) Here's an example of a permission to travel letter.

If Only One Parent Has Custody
  1. When only one parent is on the birth certificate: You will need a notarised and apostillised copy of the birth certificate. I would also bring the original birth certificate.
  2. When both parents are on the birth certificate: You will need proof that you have sole custody. Here's an example for a parent with sole custody. 
  3. When the other parent has passed away: For a widow(er), there are exceptions, you either present your ID showing that you are a widow(er) or bring a death certificate. The death certificate should probably be apostillised and translated as well.

Example Consent Letters
  • Canada has one
  • Look at the one below

Consent Letter
I, (person not travelling), am the lawful (mother / father / guardian) of (child's name). I declare the following:

Minor child's details:
(Child's name) was born on (DOB) in (place). She holds a (name of country) passport with number ______________ valid from __________ to _____________ and issued by ________________.

The aforementioned child has my consent to travel with:
(His / her) (mother / father / teacher / etc) (Person's name), was born on (DOB) in (place). She holds a (name of country) passport with number ______________ valid from __________ to _____________ and issued by ________________.

The aforementioned child has my consent to travel on the following flights:
Place, date, flight info for each flight.

Any questions regarding this consent letter can be directed to:
Name of person giving consent
Person giving consent



  1. hey! quick question... in april i left alone with my daughter who was born in peru to the USA, her dad (peruvian) had to stay behind to work. we are returning this july, but i have begun to worry, because the notarized letter of consent that we got in lima to leave peru stayed at migraciones in the jorge chavez airport... even though her dad is still in peru, will we need such a ltter to leave the USA to go back to peru??? thanks for any help!!!

  2. Yes, you will probably be asked for a letter when you leave the US. It's best to get one. Better safe than sorry.

  3. and if i am outside of peru and her dad who is in peru lives far from lima, how would i go about acquiring such a letter in a month's time? thanks!!!

  4. do you think that simply showing that her father is in peru and we are returning there that this is proof enough??? ai caray!!!

  5. There are notaries all over Peru. Seriously, all over Peru. Even in small towns. All her dad has to do is go to a notary, pay a couple soles and get a letter. The notary should already have the format that you need. I wouldn't recommend just showing that her father is in Peru. How would you prove that anyways?

  6. My daughter is american. She went to peru with my mother who is peruvian, my mother is coming back to the states with my daughter (who is a US citizen) What documents does my daughter need to come back into the usa. She has been in peru for over 6 months. All help is appreciated

  7. Your daughter MUST enter the US with her US passport. So she'll need her US passport as well as a letter from you giving your mom permission to travel with your daughter (if your daughter is under 18).

  8. I have a question. I am a US citizen. My wife is Peruvian. She has a son that is 13 and she was never married to his father. I am petitioning for his visa to come live with us in the US. She has custody papers for her son, does my wife need the permission of the father to leave with the son to the US if i am petitioning for his visa?

    Thank you

    1. If she has FULL legal and physical custody then no she does not. She should bring those papers with her.

  9. La carta notarizada tiene que ser original y mandada por correo? O puede ser mandada por fax o email?

    1. Nunca me han preguntado por la carta, pero yo siempre tengo el original mandado por correo. Email y fax no serian suficientes me imagino.

  10. Yo llame a la aerolinea y me dijeron que si estaria okay si yo imprimo el email. Mi mama esta viajando a Peru con mis dos hermanitos menores que son residentes americanos. Su papa vive en Lima, Peru. El intento sacar una carta notarial pero en el Peru no se puede hacer este tramite sin su mama. Como se supone que el va a sacar una carta notarial? Mi mama esta aqui y nosotros solo vamos alla a visitar por dos semanas.

    1. NO solo es el aerolinea. Es migraciones tambien. Si se puede sacar el permiso sin su mama. Mi esposo acaba de darme permiso para viajer hace una semana. El vive en Peru, tambien en Lima. Yo no. Busca otro abogado. Es muy facil para hacerlo. Solo tiene que dar permiso a tu mama para viajar. Si quieres, escribe a mi email, y te envio lo que mi esposo me envio.

  11. cuanto tiempo se puede quedar un niño (us citizen , he's 2 years old) en Peru ? , yo ya tengo 6 meses en Peru , soy residente americana pero estaba pensando en quedarme aca en Peru , el papa de mi hijo esta viviendo en EE.UU , creen que me pueda poner jucio o lgo asi?

    1. Depende de cuanto tiempo tiene en su visa. Saca nacionalidad peruano por tu hijo. Si no tienes custodio, puedes tener problemas si el papa dice que hayas secuetrado tu hijo.

  12. Tengo 2 hijos nacidos aquí en los EE.UU., estoy pensando llevarlos a Perú a que vean a su papa el reside allá, pero me han dicho que si el no me da permiso para sacar a los niños de Perú no salen , es cierto eso ? siendo ellos nacidos y viven aquí ?

    1. Depende de custodio. Si solo TU tienes custodio de tus hijos no necesitas su permiso. Tienes que monstrar que tienes sole custody. Por ejemplo, el partido de nacimiento que solo dice tu nombre y no de el o los papeles del divorcio que indica que solo tu tienes custodio.

      Si los dos tienen custodio entonces SI necesitas su permiso. Eso es para evitar secuestro de ninos atras de los bordes internacionales. No importa si ellos nacieron y viven alla, igual necesitas su permiso si los dos comparten custodio.

  13. I am travelling with my daughter in a couple of months she has a different last name than mine which is her father's. we have joint custody considering he is on the birth certificate. do i still need to bring a consent letter with me to travel with my daughter to the US? If the father can't be located and won't be able to get his consent what other documents do i need to bring other than a birth certificate? I would really like to travel with my daughter without any delays or hassle when we are going through the airport security. Thanks

    1. Honestly, the immigration officer might not ask you for a letter of consent. Since the father abandoned his child I would definitely try and see if you can get sole custody of your child. Each country has different laws on sole custody. And the age of your child might come into play. The only thing that you might want to do is get a notarized letter stating that the father abandoned his child and for all intents and purposes you have sole custody. You would write and sign the letter stating something to the effect that being of sound mind and body you swear that he left and cannot be located. Definitely contact a lawyer. If your child is close to 18, it might not be necessary to get sole custody since they will be a legal adult soon. However, if they are younger, I would definitley petition the courts for sole custody.


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