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Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

Blackpool
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37 posts
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Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

I'm taking my 10yr old daughter to NYC from the UK in 3 weeks time. I've just read that I may need certified proof of my (lone) parental authority to travel with my child (UK Passort/visa site).This is on top of passports etc. I guess it's to help prevent abductions?

Any lone parents out recently back from the States? What, if anything, did you need?

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cheshire
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84 posts
21 reviews
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1. Re: Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

Hi countdown

We are in the same position as we are taking my girlfriends 2 children with us next year,we have been advised to get a letter from childrens father ( were possible ) and a copy of birth certificate.

We went to vancouver last year and because children have a differant last name and it hadn`t occured to us to take letter/birth certificate the customs people gave us a grilling and at 1 point we thought they weren`t going to let us in.so go prepared!

Hope this helps

ck

Blackpool
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37 posts
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2. Re: Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

Thanks Cheshirekid

That's very helpful. At least in my case our surnames are the same.

There should be no problem getting a letter from her mother - we get on well- but I wonder how 'official' that is. I mean, anyone could write it couldn't they?

Let's hope the US immigration people are reasonable and apply some discretion and common sense!

New York City, New...
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for New York City
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3. Re: Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

Do yourself a favor and go to both the UK and US immigration pages and see what they say you need. You may need to get the letter notarized (witnessed by someone official).

www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php…

Mineola, New York
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4. Re: Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

A number of ears ago when our 3 kids were all small, I was questioned extensively at the Canadian border going into Niagara Falls if all the kids in the car were mine. I assured the immigration official that I wouldn't have been locked in a van (at that point) for 10 days with them were I not related to them. He laughed and I guess that was all the proof I needed.

Blackpool
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37 posts
3 reviews
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5. Re: Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

Thanks nywiz

I agree with you that I need to get something official, but it was actually the UK and then the US immigration sites that both say I "may" need such documentation. That little bit of doubt is what prompted me to try you guys.(The embassies don't accept email enquiries and the phone call option is a bit pricey)

Thanks though, I'll keep hunting and if it comes down to it I'll pay the Man on the Embassy phone.

Oakville, Ontario
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1,034 posts
30 reviews
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6. Re: Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

Yes, check countries requirements. When I took the 3 kids on a trip with hubby from Toronto to Florida, I needed a notorized letter of proof to take them.

Callicoon/Brooklyn...
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7. Re: Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

Frank, a number of EARS ago....I hear ya buddy LOL

San Diego
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8. Re: Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

I took my daughter to London a few years back without my husband. I took a notarized letter specifying the flights and dates of travel, signed by my husband. Not sure what your equivalent of a notary is, but around here it's someone who verifies that the person signing a document is, indeed, that person. Our auto club has one, as do many of the little post office shops.

I wasn't asked for the letter at any point on our trip. I think it's more of an issue here crossing the Mexican or Canadian borders, and as you suspected, it's intended to prevent abductions, mainly in custody cases.

Good luck!

Pembrokeshire, Wales
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9. Re: Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

My husband is taking two of our children to stay with relations in New York State next week and the is the first I have heard of needing to take authority from an absent parent. I rang Continental airlines and they say my husband definitely does not need a legal consent letter from me. The UK foreign office website says "lone parents may need proof in some countries", not very helpful. I could find nothing on the subject on the US embassy in London website or the US Homeland Security site. A further trawl on the internet suggests that a letter is needed for Mexico, Canada and a few other countries, but no mention of problems entering USA.

I have travelled alone with my kids in Europe frequently and this has never ever been queried even though I have a different surname to my children. Hope this helps.

Blackpool
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10. Re: Help! Lone parent proof requirement?

Thanks leloqthecat

Didn't mean to worry you.........it's not being able to establish for certain that you do or you don't need this proof that gets to me.

So far, as you've discovered, official sites are equivocal and anecdotal evidence is inconclusive.

I'm not flying Continental, but their response is at least emphatic; now all I need is someone who's just come back to say what happened to them as they entered the US.

Any takers?