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Travel Requirements For Kids

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

Every country has its travel requirements, which is set according to the respective immigration policies. Nevertheless, the passport is a fundamental document required for all international trips depending on the country.

It is a common requirement that the passport should not expire within 6 months after your travel, and, and most times, infants are also required to have a means of identity.

Another vital document is the visa – a permit that allows you to enter a foreign country. You should make useful inquiries regarding visa fees and eligibility. However, permissions are not necessary for most domestic travels.

From my experiences visiting various countries, I shall give you a brief overview of identification requirements regarding travels for minors and adults within some of these countries.


CANADA


Domestic travelchildren below the age of 18 in Canada do not require a passport to travel locally. It is, however, advised that such kids should either have a birth certificate or a student ID as a substitute.


Travel within and outside the US – although the US borders Canada, it is expected of Canadian residents to present a valid passport or identification document while visiting the US. This is regardless of the age of the traveler.


International – You need a passport and visa. Although a passport is very vital, you do not need a permit to travel to visa-free countries.

Consent letters are not officially recognized, but immigration officers frequently request for it when you want to exit or enter the country either as a minor or as a spouse. It is a proof to show that you have been authorized by your parents or partner to exit the country. Above are some countries regulations for travel documents ( current as of April 2018) . Do always check with your local government for any updates or change


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Children that are not up to 18 years when traveling locally within the states do not need a passport. However, a doctor's approval is necessary for children between the ages of 0 – 14 years, or those on the journey as a lap child.

Also, if you plan to travel with a child, you need to show a means of identification - as someone who is in charge of the kid.

Finally, children whose age cannot be ascertained or have different dates must provide a valid birth certificate, passport, or an immunization report.

For international travels, a passport is compulsory regardless of your age.


AUSTRALIA


Domestic trips – It is not a necessity for minors (children under 18) to have a passport for local trips within Australia. However, such a child must be accompanied by an adult, who will register the details of the child in backward order on the boarding ticket.

It signifies that the adult is identifiable and responsible for child welfare during the trip.

International passport is compulsory irrespective of your age or status when you want to travel from Australia.


UNITED KINGDOM


Domestic trips – In The UK, the maximum age you can travel without identification is 16. Even at that, the child should be accompanied by an adult who would stand-in on behalf of the child.

However, if the child, who is below 16, is traveling alone, then, he or she must present a photographic identity document.

For parents on a domestic trip with their infant kids; they must, at all times, carry-along the birth certificate of the child.

For all international travels, a passport is a binding document.


SOUTH AFRICA


Domestic travelfor such trips, a means of identification is needed for the parent and child, respectively. Therefore, the parent must present a valid passport and an Unabridged Birth Certificate for all individuals involved in the trip.

Aside from these documents, if the child is traveling alone, or accompanied by a single parent, then, in addition to the materials above, they must also possess a Parental Consent Affidavit (PCA) issued not later than 6 months.

Also, when a child is traveling with an adult who is not the child’s biological parent, then, both of them should have a means of identification.

If a child's parent is deceased, with no legally recognized guardian yet, then, the adult traveling with the child has to obtain a letter of Special Circumstance from the office of the Director-General, Home Affairs.

For all international trips outside South Africa, a passport document is compulsory.


CHINA


In China, the new provisions state that all domestic travelers must present a valid identity card rather than a passport. In an event where you do not have an ID, you can use the services at the airport to obtain a temporary identity card.

For foreigners in China, you need your passport at all times whenever you want to make local trips within the country. People from Hongkong or Taiwan will require a home-visiting or compatriot certificate in addition to their ID.

International passport is a must for all travels outside China.


JAPAN


Domestic Flights – All travelers, including children of all ages accompanied by an adult, must have a valid means of identification. Generally, the accepted forms of identification are a passport, driver's license, a Juki-card, government ID, or a student ID. Health insurance card can only be recognized if it bears the name of both the parent and the child.

For all international flights, a passport is the only valid means of identification.


GERMANY


Although the law does not specify it, parents traveling with kids not up to 16 years within Germany should ensure they have a means of identification for themselves and the child. It can range from EU/EEA passport, Schengen ID, or a government recognized ID.

For children below the age of 12, traveling domestically, they must have a consent letter from their parent or guardian along with their passport. Also, such child must be accompanied by someone who is up to 16 and can cater for the welfare of the child conveniently.

The migration policies in Germany are stringent and secure, so, international travel with your kids will always require a valid passport and visa.


NIGERIA


Domestic travels within Nigeria does not require an international passport. However, you need to have a means of identification, such as a national identity card, driver's license, government ID, employer ID, or a student identity card.

For kids traveling with an adult and are below 14, such child must have a valid identity, usually a birth certificate. The adult must also provide a photo ID and evidence to prove a relationship with the child or infant.

Passports are essential documents for all International trips.


ETHIOPIA


When traveling domestically within Ethiopia with a child, you must go along with a government-issued ID. Also, an unabridged birth certificate to prove the age of the child is essential.

If it is an adopted child, then you must, at all times, possess the certificate of guardianship as applicable.

International travels require a passport at all times whether it is an infant, child, or an adult.


CAMEROON


Cameroon is regarded as the blueprint of Africa. This is due to the country's natural reserve, tourism, and wildlife. Traveling with your kids within Cameroon will require you to have a means of identification for the child (usually a birth certificate).

As the parent, you must possess a valid government identification or passport (for foreigners). The same applies to guardians. Most times, teenagers can travel freely within the country without a letter of consent.

However, overseas travels in Cameroon will require an international passport for your kid regardless of their age.


Above are some countries regulations for travel documents (updated as of August 2019) . Do always check with your local government for any updates or change before traveling.


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