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What is child travel consent?
Child travel consent is a letter or document to prove permission has been given by both parents or guardians for a child to travel. The consent is usually given by one or more of the child's parents when they are absent at the time of travel. In accordance with Australian law, a child is considered anyone under the age of 18.
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When should I use child travel consent?
If the child is travelling with both parents or guardians, then a child travel consent document is not necessary. If they are travelling with only one birth parent or guardian, a child travel consent document is needed, even if they are with family such as grandparents.
This document is mostly used when the birth parents or guardians of the child are divorced or separated, and one of them wishes to take the child on holiday out of the country.
It is also used when a non-relation such as a teacher or coach is taking the child outside of the country. This situation is usually reserved for sports competitions or school trips.
What does a child travel consent document include and not include?
What is included in child travel consent document?
A child travel consent includes several sections that allows the authorities and foreign officials to be sure of the document's credibility.
The document will include the full name of the non-travelling parent(s) or legal guardian and their relationship to the child. The full name and relationship of the person who is travelling with the child should also be included.
Specific information about the child is also required for a valid child travel consent document. This includes their full name, age at the time of travel, the locations where the child will be travelling to and the start and end dates of the travel. It is important to include the child's passport number (if applicable) as this and all the other details can be checked against those submitted on the document.
What is not included in a child travel consent document?
This document doesn't require a photo of the child. However, if they are travelling domestically you should bring some form of identification if available.
How effective is a child travel consent form?
A child travel consent document is seen as an extremely effective document, both in the eyes of the law and for basic ease of travel. Travelling and airports can be stressful at the best of times, but if you are held back by officials, then a whole lot more frustration can be added to your journey.
Having a child travel consent document, whether you feel like you need one or not, will bring you complete peace of mind. If you are asked to produce the document by immigration officials, you'll have them ready and waiting.
Child travel consent documents are also effective when parents are going through a highly conflicting separation or divorce. Once one parent has given signed permission, there is no chance that sudden change of mind will bring a halt to your travel plans.
Do I need a lawyer for a child travel consent document?
You don't need a lawyer for child travel consent in Australia. However, you may want to use a legal template to make sure all necessary information is included and that the document will be legally binding.
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How do I write a child travel consent form?
A child travel consent document should be written with clear points and in the correct order. Written from the point of view of the consenting parent or guardian, it should state 'I am the parent/ legal guardian of the following child'.
Details of both the parent and the child should be written in full, including names and addresses. The following parts should cover aspects of the travel itself, including where the child is going and for how long. Finally, the parent or guardian should physically sign and date the document and a stamp or seal from the notary placed at the end.
Where to get free legal documents and templates like child travel consent
Legal documents and templates can be obtained for free from several online legal outlets. Documents such as a child travel consent letter template can be downloaded from Australian legal websites such as LegalVison and Wonder.Legal.
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