When is a power of attorney required for a minor to travel?
The necessity of a power of attorney or other documents when traveling for minors is determined by the destination of their trip. Minors can travel to the countries belonging to the Schengen area – there are no age restrictions, they just need to have an identity document and a valid ticket. Minors can travel to non-Schengen countries only with one of their parents, accompanied by another person with notarized consent (one parent’s consent is sufficient) or after being emancipated (e.g. married before the age of 18).
When traveling from the United Kingdom, the consent of the parents is not necessary for a minor travelling on his own or accompanied by another person, but the UK Border Agency officers can always ask the person accompanying the child about his relationship with the accompanied child, so documents in English indicating this relationship can be useful.
When you research the established procedure for traveling with minors, first pay attention to where your child lives. Most likely, the nationality or place of residence of the parents is not of much importance, as the legal regulation is valid according to the place of residence of the child. In the event of a legal dispute, it will be resolved according to the state of the child’s declared and actual residence (i.e. where he lives, studies, etc.), legislation. So, if you live in another country, check the travel regulations of that country for minors.
It is important to know that all airlines reserve the right to request written parental consent at any time, so we recommend having parental consent certified by a notary or lawyer if the child is not flying with the parents. The general policies of airlines regarding the travel of minors also differ. For example, unaccompanied minors can fly on Wizzair flights from the age of 14, and from the age of 16 they can accompany a person younger than themselves. Ryanair does not fly unaccompanied minors under the age of 16, but allows those over 16 to be the accompanying person. AirBaltic flies unaccompanied children from the age of 12, but persons under the age of 15 must also carry a birth certificate. Also, the company offers a paid escort service for children aged 5 to 17. Due to differences in the policies of these airlines, we recommend that you carefully familiarize yourself with their rules regarding minors.
If the child’s place of residence is in Lithuania, for example, when travelling alone or unaccompanied by one of the parents from Lithuania to a country outside the Schengen area, a notarized consent of one of the parents is required, which is intended for Lithuanian border control officials. If the child’s place of residence is not in Lithuania in accordance with the procedure established by law, but, for example, in the United Kingdom, the notarized consent of one of the parents is not required for them to go alone or accompanied by another parent from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania to countries outside the Schengen area.
When you research the established procedure for traveling with minors, first pay attention to where your child lives. If your child actually lives in a foreign country, the rules of that country apply. The nationality or place of residence of the parents is not of much importance, as the legal regulation is valid according to the place of residence of the child. In the event of a legal dispute, it will be resolved according to the state where the child’s actual residence is located, i.e. where he lives, studies, etc., legislation. So, if you live in another country, check the travel regulations of that country for minors.
Minors’ trips in the case of divorced parents should also be mentioned. Although a notarized written consent of the other parent is not required when traveling alone with a child, the parents must agree on the child’s departure abroad. If the trip does not interfere with the planned communication procedure, the parent with whom the child lives does not need permission from the other parent for a short trip. The parent with whom the child does not live cannot take the minor abroad without the other parent’s knowledge, even if the trip is scheduled during the planned time of his/her stay with the child. Neither parent can take the child to live abroad without first consulting the other, even if the permanent place of residence is determined by the court to be with you.
In all cases of travel, whether by air or land, whether with parents or guardians, or alone, the child must always have a valid document confirming personal identity and citizenship.
So, let’s recap:
For a child temporarily leaving for foreign countries outside the Schengen area, one of the following valid documents is required, which must be submitted upon request to the officers of the State Border Force:
- A valid passport.
- A Diplomatic Passport.
- A travel document of a stateless person.
- A refugee travel document.
- A relevant travel document of a foreign country.
- Passport of a foreign citizen.
- Written consent of at least one of the parents or the only available parent, or the guardian of the child, that the child can leave with an accompanying person or alone.
- A document confirming the guardianship (care) of the child, if the child is traveling with a guardian.
- If the child’s surname does not match the surname of one of the parents or the only available parent with whom the child is going to foreign countries outside the Schengen area, a birth certificate is needed.
IB Service Ltd will always take proper care of the preparation of the power of attorney and its legalization in the shortest possible time. We will always aim to advise and answer your questions and we will make sure that you avoid unnecessary concerns when traveling with your child. To submit an application for the service regarding the departure of a minor child from the UK to another country, we invite you to fill out this form.
The information presented in this article is subject to change, so please contact a notary or a lawyer for more specific information.