As we approach the summer holiday season and the Christmas/New Year period, one of the increasing number of enquiries we that we receive is to notarise a Letter of Consent to Travel or a travel consent letter.
Why do I need a travel consent letter?
If you are travelling with a child (ie, someone under the age of 18 years) without one or both of the child’s parents, then immigration checkpoints at some countries may raise questions or even prevent you from entering or exiting the country if you cannot prove that you have consent from the child’s parents to travel with the child. In many cases, these hurdles are in place to prevent child trafficking, kidnapping or contravention of family law and custody orders.
Unless there are specific requirements for travelling with children in the country that you are visiting or transiting through, we recommend travelling with some sort of letter to prove that the child’s parents allow the child to travel with you. The last thing you want during this holiday season is to run into problems with immigration officers or have complications in a foreign country over something that could have easily been prevented by a simple letter. In that sense, a little preparation can go a long way.
Where can I download the travel consent letter?
Check with the travel advisory (ie, https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/), your travel agent or the airline/cruise ship to determine whether any of the countries you are visiting have specific forms for the travel consent letter.
If there is no specific form, then you should prepare your own letter. As a general rule, your travel consent letter should state the full names of the child’s parents, the child, and the person travelling with the child. The letter should also state that the parents consent to their child travelling with the person travelling and include details such as birth dates, passport numbers, contact addresses and phone numbers. If you want to include a travel itinerary, we recommend making allowances for potential last-minute changes to that itinerary or travel plans. For example, instead of specific travel dates, consider periods of travel.
Does the travel consent letter need to be notarised?
In most cases, documents signed in Australia but used in another country will need to be notarised. This means the child’s parents who sign the travel consent letter would need to sign it in front of a notary public, the notary public witness their signature and confirm that they were the people who signed the travel consent letter.
Does the travel consent letter need to be authenticated and legalised or stamped with an apostille?
In some cases, after the travel consent letter has been notarised, it might also need to be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and legalised. This requirement depends largely on the intended countries, their specific requirements, and how strictly those requirements are followed or enforced by immigration officials. If the travel consent letter must be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and legalised, then you have to allow for substantially more turnaround time for this process to take place (ie, weeks) and so a little pre-planning and preparation will go a long way.
At the very least, you must still arrange for the travel consent letter to be notarised. As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we can assist you with both the notarisation and with the authentication or apostille if required.
Who needs to carry the travel consent letter?
The adult person travelling with the child should carry the travel consent letter with their travel documents (ie, passports/travel tickets) and be ready to produce it at all immigration checkpoints when entering or exiting a country.
Do you have any questions regarding this article?
If you have never had to have a document notarised before, you may find our role as a notary public, the notary public services that we provide, and this whole process (especially authentication, legalisation and apostille) to be confusing and daunting. Do not worry! We are here to try to simplify it, make it easy for you to understand, and to guide you or assist you with achieving your desired goal.
So, what next?
If you are now ready to proceed with having your document notarised, please visit our Notary Fees page for a FREE quote on our notary public services or just call us on 02 9687 8885 and speak to our friendly staff about your requirements.
Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?
We are a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney known for our low-cost fixed fee notary services, our availability to provide notary public services on short notice, and our focus on personal and timely notary public services. With our offices conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area, our notary public assists clients from across all suburbs of Sydney and beyond.
This website is maintained by Phang Legal, an incorporated legal practice in Parramatta and a leading provider of notary public services to clients across Sydney. Extensive experience and low-cost fixed prices ensures quality services and satisfied clients.
Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the kinds of issues faced by his clients in sending documents overseas.
All information contained in this article is for general purposes only and correct as at the time of publication. You should only rely on information and advice that is specific to your situation and current at the time you wish to rely on it.