Children travelling abroad, including newborn babies, require the same identification documents as adults. You might also need supporting documentation depending on your family composition, such as for adoptive or stepchildren. Ensuring that you have all required documentation is important for avoiding lengthy problems and confusion at border crossings on your travels. Obtain an information sheet for any country you plan to visit from the U.S. Department of State for location-specific information.
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On June 1, 2009, a new policy came into effect regarding travel to the United States. This policy requires all citizens travelling to the United States by land or sea to present a passport at border crossings. Furthermore, as of January 1, 2008, everyone, from infant to elderly, must have a passport to travel internationally by air. Therefore, upon re-entering the country after land or sea travel or international air travel, you and your child must possess a valid passport. Passports applications must be completed in person at either a passport agency, passport acceptance facility, U.S. embassy or consulate. You must supply two pictures of the child taken within the last six months as well as £78 to cover the cost of the document. Please allow two to six week for your passport to arrive.
In addition to a passport, some countries require travellers to obtain a visa. Some such destinations include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil and Nigeria. If you plan to visit one of these destinations you and your children must have a travel visa. To obtain a travel visa you are required to contact the embassy of the country you plan to visit. The embassy will advise you on fees, process, immunisation and medical information needed to travel to the nation. Each country has a specific set of restrictions, instructions and types of visas. For a complete list of countries requiring visas for travel, see the Resources section.
If you are travelling with children who are not your own, you are required to obtain a permission slip. The parents of the child must type and sign a note stating that they have entrusted you to care for their child during your travels. This letter must be notarised. A permission slip is also handy if you are travelling with your child but not your spouse. Furthermore, if any of the kids you travel with are under a custody agreement, you should bring a copy of the agreement to prove everything is legitimate.
Although not required, bringing copies of a child's birth certificate and immunisation record is a good idea. A birth certificate is helpful in case of a lost passport while travelling. Immunisation records serve to prove the child has received specific shots and immunisation that are required before entering some countries.
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