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Travel Abroad of 16 Year Old of Divorced Parents

by Gayle
(Seattle, King County USA)

Question: The mother is the designated custodian of a 16-year-old. Can the 16-year-old get a passport without the father's permission? Can the 16-year-old travel abroad without the father's permission?


All reside in Washington State. The parenting plan says of travel:

"Each parent shall be permitted to travel with the child that is in their primary care within the United States and to Canada without the consent of the other parent. Neither child shall travel to Pakistan so long as the U. S. Department of State has (current) travel warnings for United State Citizens warning against non-essential travel to Pakistan. The parent wishing to travel to Pakistan must also have the written permission of the other parent."

Answer: I will attempt to answer your questions in their order.

Can the 16-year-old get a passport without the father's permission?

If the mother has sole legal custody, then the father's permission in not necessary. If the parents have shared custody, then consent may be necessary.

Notarized parental consent is required from the non-applying parent for minors age 15 and younger. Minors ages 16 and 17 "may be requested to provide written parental consent for a child age 16 or 17 if it is not implied on the application".

The agent who attends to the minor at the time he or she submits the passport application will inform him or her as to whether there is a need to submit a parental consent form or not.

Can the 16-year-old travel abroad without the father's permission?

According to the parenting plan above, the only destination that the minor can travel outside the United States without consent of the non-primary care parent is Canada. This implies that travel to any other destination outside the U.S. must have the consent of the non-primary care parent.

Comments for Travel Abroad of 16 Year Old of Divorced Parents

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Joined custody I have primary physical custody
by: Anonymous

Question: Hi, I want take my son to see my parents as I haven't see them in 15 years.
My husband is special so my ex-mother-in-law makes the decision for him. My son is now 16 years old. Can I take him without the father's or grandmother's consent to go to Dubai? Please let me know. They missed so many times the visitation when they traveled without telling me.

Answer: As long as your son has a valid passport, he may travel to the UAE without issue. Consent is recommended but not required.

Travel from NY to Turks and Caicos
by: Anonymous

Question: I want to take my 16-year-old son to Turks and Caicos. He will have a US Passport. His father and I have joint custody. Will my son need his father's written permission for this trip?

Answer: Yes, your son may need a notarized consent from his father in order to exit the Turks and Caicos.

Traveling abroad
by: Anonymous

Question: Hello, I would like to know if my 15-year-old daughter can travel with me to Japan without her father's permission. He is listed on the birth certificate but he has never been involved in her life.

Answer: Please contact the Embassy of Japan regarding your concern.

Travel to Australia with minor
by: Anonymous

Question: I have joint custody with my ex of my 11-year-old son and would like to take him on a holiday to Australia to meet extended family. He has a passport but his father won't say if he can come or not. Do I need permission if I can show return flights and a court order proving joint custody rights?

Answer: A statement of consent from the non-traveling parent is always recommended in case questions arise while you are in transit. I recommend that you contact the Australian Embassy to find out if they require consent for minors traveling with only one custodial parent.

Will immigration ask for any documentation??
by: Anonymous

Question: My 16-year-old cousin is a US citizen and lived in El Salvador for 14 years with his parents, he is been back in the US for about 1 year to study High School and now wants to go back to El Salvador for vacations. I called the airline and they that at 16 he is considered an adult so he doesn’t need any permit, but would he need anything for immigration???

Answer: Your cousin should be able to exit and re-enter the United States. However, El Salvador has stringent rules for traveling minors. Here's what it says on the Department of State's website:

"A U.S. citizen minor present in El Salvador for more than one year is considered a resident of El Salvador. To depart El Salvador, a minor resident needs written consent from any parent listed on the child’s birth certificate that is not traveling with the minor. The consent form must be notarized by a Salvadoran notary. The process to obtain parental travel consent that is accepted by Salvadoran immigration can be lengthy. Plan ahead if you intend to have your minor child travel without both parents after being present in El Salvador for more than one year."

There may be other regulations that are not indicated on the DOS site. You need to contact the El Salvadorian immigration office regarding this matter.

Financial support when in US
by: Anonymous

Question: I am a 17-year-old traveling to the US from the UK alone. I’m concerned about how to answer how I will financially support myself when in the US. I am staying with a friend and his family and I will have just about $300. What do I say when answering this question at CBP and do I need to prove it/how?

Answer: Please contact the CBP regarding entry requirements including proof of financial means.

Travelling to US at 17
by: Anonymous

Question: I am a 17yr old UK citizen traveling to the US alone soon. Do I need consent from either, both, or only one of my parents? My dad is on my birth certificate but I don't see him anymore.

Answer: The consent is not required but a good thing to have in case questions are raised. One from at least your mother should do the trick. Please contact the CBP for more information.

Mom of 17 year old
by: Anonymous

Question: My son is 17 and has his own passport. I am the custodial parent. Is taking a cruise that has stops in Mexico. OK without a letter from the other parent?

Answer: A signed consent letter from the other parent is recommended but not required.

Travel to Columbia
by: Anonymous

Question: I have a 16-year-old that has a passport. Can this child travel to Columbia with a great uncle for vacation? I am the mother and they have my consent but not the father's.

Answer: I'm not sure if you mean Columbia the university in New York or Colombia the country in South America. If you meant the former, consent is not required for domestic travel.

If you meant the latter, special exit requirements are imposed if the child is of Colombian descent, even if it was never recorded in Colombia. If the child is not of Colombian descent, consent from both custodial parents is strongly advised although not required.

Travelling with16 year old to Ecuador
by: Anonymous

Question: I want to travel to Ecuador with my 16-year-old daughter. We have a few-hour layover in Panama. Will I need a letter of consent from her father?

Answer: Non-resident and non-citizen minors do not need parental consent to enter/depart Panama and Ecuador. We'd recommend having travel consent from the father but it's not strictly required.

Travel abroad
by: Anonymous

Question: Do I need consent for me and my 17-year-old daughter to travel to Thailand if the father and I are divorced and he is not active in the child's life? He does not have custody or parental responsibility.

Answer: At 17, consent should no longer be required for your child to travel. We recommend that you contact the Royal Thai Embassy for the latest information on entry for U.S. citizens.

Travel with minor
by: Anonymous

Question: I am in the middle of a divorce and I have 2 children between the ages of 16 and 17. Do I need legal consent from my ex-husband when I take them to Asia for 2 weeks? What is the minimum age that they can travel internationally without their father's approval?

Answer: The answer depends on each country's requirement. You will need to contact the embassy/consulate of each country you are visiting to inquire about minors traveling without one custodial parent.

Generally, consent is required from the non-traveling parent to avoid international parental child abduction. To be safe, we recommend getting notarized consent to travel from the father.

Travel with minor to Canada
by: Anonymous

Question: I have joint custody with the dad. Do I need his consent form to travel with my 7 yr old to Canada for a week?

Answer: Yes, you need a notarized consent to travel signed by the non-traveling parent.

Mom with 17 years old
by: Anonymous

Question: My 17-year-old daughter will be traveling with me to the Philippines for a month's vacation. I have full custody. Does she need consent from her father? I apply her for a passport when she was 16 with one only parent applying for her?

Answer: The Philippines has stringent rules regarding traveling minors. It is best that you contact the Philippine Embassy to check the age that requires consent from non-traveling parents.

International travel 16 yo with family friend
by: Anonymous

Question: We are bringing our daughter and her friend (age 16) to the Dominican Republic from the US. The friend has a passport and permission from both parents (divorced). I believe I need a notarized consent to travel form from both parents. Can they each have their own form signed and notarized since they live in different states instead of on 1 form?

Answer: Yes, that should be acceptable.

Travel with 13-year-old no contact with other parent
by: Anonymous

Question: We are traveling to France and my son is 13. He has a passport and I am his mother and will be traveling with him. We have no contact with his father but he is listed on his birth certificate. We have no court order for custody as he has never had contact with him and has no desire to. Do I need consent to travel from the father for my son to fly from the USA to France with me?

Answer: France is quite stringent on parental consent for minors traveling without one or both parents but this only applies to those who are residents of their country. You should not need consent from the father for your child to travel to and from France.

But just to be sure, please contact the Embassy of France for the latest rules on traveling minors.

Travel with Minor Inquiry
by: Anonymous

Question: I would like to travel to France from the US with my 14-year-old daughter. I have sole physical custody and joint legal custody. Mother disagrees. Can I travel with my daughter?

Answer: Depending on your custody order, the mother may be well within her rights to refuse consent for the child to travel. To avoid issues, it is best that you seek her written consent before your trip.

Teen with passport
by: E.Z

Question: I have joint custody of my two teens age 14 and 16 and they both have US passports. Do I still need parental consent to travel out of the country?

Answer: The answer depends on the requirements of the country you are traveling to. Some countries require travel consent for minors while others do not. Please contact the embassy of your destination country to find out.

Travel to Mexico
by: Anonymous

Question: I have sole custody of my 16-year-old US citizen daughter, do I need her father's consent for her to travel to Mexico with me? Do I need to show proof of the court order when we travel?

Answer: Yes. Please bring proof of sole custody of the minor in case questions arise.

From Spain to the US
by: Anonymous

Question: My daughter is 17 years old and a U.S citizen. Can she travel back to the U.S from Spain without the need for permission from both parents? She’s also not a Spanish resident.

Answer: Your daughter should be able to travel to the United States as long as she has a valid passport and other travel requirements.

Travling alone
by: Anonymous

Question: Hi, I am 17 years old. Do I need my parent's consent to travel from the Dominican Republic to the United States?

Answer: Please contact the CBP for requirements for entry into the United States.

My son is 16 years old
by: Eliene

Question: I would like to travel with my son who is 16 years old to the Dominican Republic next month but I do not have his father's authorization. Do I need it?

Answer: Minors (children under 18) who are citizens (including dual citizens) or legal residents of the Dominican Republic, if not accompanied by both parents or legal guardian(s), are required to present official proof of parental consent to travel. If your son is not a citizen, this consent MAY NOT be required.

Please contact the Embassy of The Dominican Republic for confirmation.

16 Traveling out of the US.
by: Anonymous

Question: Hello, my son is 16, and his father and I have equal joint custody. His father gave verbal permission to obtain his passport so we got it. We want to visit family in Central America this summer.

Now his father said he never gave permission for the passport just to be difficult and cause problems. However, he did say he could go abroad. My question is, can his father file something with the children's passport issuance alert program or some other agency to stop him from going abroad just to cause problems? Thank you.

Answer: Since the passport has already been issued, you should not worry about the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program. Even if the father enrolls your child in the program, it will not matter since he is already 16. The next time he applies for a passport will be as an adult.

With regard to travel, the father is well within his parental rights to restrict travel through a court order. He may get a court order to require you to obtain his consent before the minor can travel overseas. Also, some countries require consent from the non-traveling custodial parent if only one is traveling with the minor. You have to check with your destination regarding this.

16 yr old with divorced parents
by: Anonymous

Question: I'm 16 and trying to travel to Pennsylvania on my own. My parents are divorced and shared custody but my dad is out of the picture for years already. Do I still need his consent?

Answer: Parental consent is not required for domestic travel. If you are currently in the United States and are just traveling to another state, you should not need consent from your parents. You should get one from your mother, though, just in case.

Traveling at 17 without parental consent
by: Anonymous

Question: I want to fly to Georgia to see my boyfriend and I live in New York. Do I need parental consent to fly from New York to Georgia as a 17-year-old?

Answer: Consent is not required for domestic travel.

Flying domestically at 16 without both parents consent
by: Anonymous

Question: My boyfriend is planning to fly me out of my home state of Florida to his state for only a few days. I am 16 and he is 17. We’re both within the laws of consent for our states and we’re above the age to fly/purchase tickets not only unaccompanied but also without parent consent. My only concern is if he would get into any legal trouble for me not asking my parent’s permission beforehand.

Answer: It is best that you seek permission from your parents to avoid any trouble. Please contact the airline you are flying with for further advice.

Thank you

Canada to USA travel kids 15&16
by: Father

Question:We have joint custody but kids (15 & 16 years old) live with father full-time in Canada. We are Canadian citizens. Planning vacation to the US. Mother disagrees with trip despite telling kids it was ok. If we get to the airport and she calls in advance to report her disagreement will we be denied our flights to the US? We’ll lose everything if that happens.

Answer: Please contact the CBP regarding your concern.

Hawaii from Los Angeles
by: Anonymous

Question: Do I need any permission from the mother or we will be okay as father and daughter (17 years old) traveling with me for vacation?

Answer: You should be okay.

We are US citizens wanting to travel from Chicago to Charlotte
by: Anonymous

Question: There are 4 of us, 3 of us are 17 and 1 is 16. What parental requirements are required for the ability to actually go and after landing in Charlotte which we have no legal guardian in.

Answer: Minors age 12 to 17 can travel alone on any domestic flight without restrictions. There are no special requirements but you do need to present valid government-issued IDs.

Please contact the airline you are flying with to verify requirements.

Traveling from Ecuador to US
by: Anonymous

Question: My brother is 16 years old. He is traveling with my younger brother but my father lives in Ecuador. Does he need his permission for my brother to be able to go to the United States?

Answer: Please contact the CBP regarding entry to the United States.

16yrs old traveling to Canada from Peru
by: Miguel Valdez

Question: It says that a 16 yrs old can travel to Canada without one of the parents consent, can it do so traveling from Peru to Canada?

Answer: Please contact Canada Border Service Agency for questions regarding entry to Canada.

No Permission?
by: Anonymous

Question: Is it possible for a 16-year-old to fly to Asia alone without parental consent? Or do they absolutely have to have at least one parent sign for them?

Answer: The answer depends on the requirements of the country/s he/she is visiting. Please contact the embassy of the minor's destination to find out if parental consent is an absolute requirement.

Greece
by: Dawb

Question: My daughter wants to go on a school trip to Greece. She has a passport and is 17 years old. Her father and I are divorced and we have joint custody. Will she have to have a consent letter from him in order to travel outside the USA? I will not be going but her grandmother will?

Answer: At 17, she should be able to travel without her father's consent. Having said that, requirements change without prior notice. Please contact the Embassy of Greece for the latest entry requirements.

Going to guatemala
by: Anonymous

Question: I am planning for my daughter to go to Guatemala in July but I want to know If I need permission from her father. We are divorced. He isn’t in her life and doesn’t have any communication with her, he is totally out of the picture. My daughter is 16.

Answer: Please contact the Embassy of Guatemala for heir regulations on minors traveling to their country.

Travel
by: Anonymous

Question: My brother is 17 years old living in Ecuador. He’s a U.S. citizen but wants to know if he can travel without my parents consent. They do not want to allow him to leave and he has no information on how to renew is American passport.

Answer: At 17, parental consent to travel may not be required. Also, he can apply for his passport without parental presence if he can present his own government issued ID. Please have him contact the U.S. Embassy in Quito for more information.

Traveling to Aruba
by: Anonymous

Question: I am traveling with my 16-year-old child to Aruba for a one-week vacation . Do I need a written permission from my ex for my child to travel with me?

Answer: Consent is generally not required for minors age 16 and 17. However, we recommend that you contact the airline you are flying with to confirm travel requirements.

16-year-old traveling out of the U.S.
by: Anonymous

Question: My daughter is 16 and traveling alone. I want to know ifI need the father’s permission for her to go outside the U.S. The father is out of the picture and he is not part of her life. There is no communication at all. Do I need his permission?

Answer: The answer depends on the requirements imposed by the destination country on unaccompanied minors. Please contact the embassy of the country your daughter is traveling to to find out.

Parental consent
by: Anonymous

Question: I am wondering. Do I need parental consent if I travel (air) from the U.S to UK? I am 17.

Answer: Please contact the British Embassy about their latest stand on the need for consent for minors traveling without parents or legal guardians.

Travel to Peru
by: Anonymous

Question: I'm planning to travel to Peru on vacation and I want to take my 16 and 17-year-old. Do I need their father's consent since they are traveling with me? We don't know where to find him and I have no idea where to start.

Thank you.

Answer: A consent may not be required since the children are traveling with a parent. Please contact the Embassy of Peru for confirmation.

Traveling to the U.K.
by: Anonymous

Question: I’m about to turn 17 and my birthday gift is to go to the United Kingdom. I will be flying alone to see family and friends in the U.K.. My parents are divorced and they have split custody of me. Do I need consent from both parents or just one?

Answer: Consent is not a requirement but is strongly recommended. Consent from both parents should cover all your bases.

16 YEAR OLD
by: Anonymous

Question: Can a 16 year old travel internationally to Jordan and back with only one parental consent? Will it make a difference if a family relative accompanies the minor? Mother has full custody of the child for past 7 years. Father is not in the picture nor does the child want to be in contact with the father. Please respond, thanks.

Answer: Please contact the Embassy of Jordan regarding consent requirements for minors.

Traveling with 17-year-old
by: Anonymous

Question: Do I need consent from father of a 17-year-old to travel if she has the right to refuse contact with him?

Answer: There should be no need. Please speak to a lawyer regarding legal ramifications.

Sending my son home to his mom
by: Anonymous

Question: I want to send my 16-year-old son to his mom in Brazil. Do I have to travel with him? He has American and Brazilian citizenship. We have joint custody.

Answer: The minor may travel unaccompanied but a statement of consent to travel may be required. Please contact the Embassy of Brazil or the airline your son is traveling with to verify special requirements.

Travel to Spain/Italy
by: Mom of 16-year-old

Question: I am divorced with joint custody of a 16 year-old daughter with my ex-husband. I am planning to take her to Spain and then on a cruise to Italy this summer. Her dad does not travel and constantly threatens that travel outside the U.S. can not happen without his permission, then deliberately refuses to sign consent forms until the last minute. Do I really need written consent now that she is 16 if she has a valid passport and I can prove I am her mother (we have two different last names).

Answer: There is no requirement for parental consent for travel to Schengen countries. Please contact the embassies of Spain and Italy for confirmation.

17 year old traveling with grandparents
by: Anonymous

Question: My 17 year old daughter will be traveling with her grandparents to the Dominican Republic. Her father and I are divorced with shared custody. Can she travel with her grandparents with one parental consent?

Answer: Please contact the Embassy of The Dominican Republic for entry requirements specific to minors not traveling with parents.

Travel
by: Anonymous

Question: I am 16 years old my dad wants me to travel to Italy for vacation with him for a week but my mom won't let him and has no reason for keeping me from seeing him. We don't live in the same country. Do I need her consent to travel with him?

Answer: You may not need your mother's permission since you will be traveling with a parent. Please contact the Embassy of Italy to confirm.

MEX to the US and back to MEX
by: Anonymous

Question: Hi, my daughter is 16 years old. She is an American citizen. We live in Cancun and she will be traveling to the US and back to Mexico with some friends. Do we need to have some kind of written permission to her? She already has her passport renewed.

Answer: The Mexican government have stringent rules for minors traveling without parents or legal guardians. Please provide your child with a statement of consent to travel detailing her trip in case she is asked for one at the border.

Travel with aunt overseas
by: Anonymous

Question: I want to take my nephew on cruise out of the U.K. to US. Parents are in the middle of a bad divorce. Will having a note from his mother with me be enough? She is parent with primary custody.

Answer: Please contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for requirements specific to children arriving by boat from the UK.

Cruise to Bahamas
by: Anonymous

Question: Do I need a consent from the father if I have sole custody of my 17-year-old daughter to take a cruise to the Bahamas?

Answer: Consent is not required but recommended in case questions arise.

Traveling to Turks and Caicos Island
by: Anonymous

Question: I am traveling to Turks with my 17-year-old daughter. Her father and I are divorced but she live with me; we have joint custody. Can I travel to this island without a consent? Her father lives overseas so its hard for me to get a consent letter.

Answer: There will be no need for a consent.

Travel to the Philippines
by: Gina B

Question: I want to take my daughter to the Philippines. She is 16 years old and I have joint custody -- I'm the primary custodian. Do I need consent from her father if she already has her passport?

Answer: Hello, Gina. We deleted your last name for security reasons. Your daughter may travel to the Philippines without issue as long as her passport meets the requirements. Since she will be traveling with a parent, she does not need any additional documentation.

We recommend that you contact the Philippine Embassy for the latest travel requirements for U.S. citizens.

Travel to Mexico, mom has primary custody
by: Anonymous

Question: I want to take my 16-year-old daughter to Mexico for a week to help her get extra credit in high school for Spanish and a family trip. I, the mom, have custody of her. Do we need her dad's permission? He has been estranged for over 3.5 years with no contact, visit, etc. I am not even sure how to find or get a hold of him. He abandoned her back then by never ever making any contact.

Answer: There is no need to get the father's consent since the child will be traveling with a parent.

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