International travel documents for children
See what documents a child needs to travel to or from the U.S. alone or with a parent or relative.
Children traveling to the U.S.
All children, including infants, must have their own travel documents such as a passport or document from a Trusted Traveler Program to enter the U.S. If you travel or are going to travel with a child, consider taking the following documents:
- If the child is traveling with only one of their custodial parents, they must have a letter of consent, preferably in English and notarized, from the other parent or signed by both parents. The letter should say "I acknowledge that my son/daughter is traveling outside the country with [the name of the adult] with my permission."
- If one parent has sole custody of the child, a copy of the custody document can take the place of the other parent's letter.
- Parents who frequently cross the border by land with a minor must always carry a letter of permission from the other parent.
U.S. citizen children traveling abroad
Ports of entry in many countries have security measures to prevent international child abduction. If you are traveling alone with your child, you may be required to present documentation proving you are the parent or legal guardian. You may also need a letter of permission from the other parent for your child to travel.
If your child travels alone, depending on the country, they may be required to present a notarized letter from both parents or their legal guardian. If a minor is traveling abroad and is not accompanied by both parents or a legal guardian, contact the embassy or consulate of the country you will be visiting and ask about entry and exit requirements for that country.
LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2023