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Parental consent for a child travelling abroad unaccompanied

When minor children travel abroad without a parent or legal guardian, it is advisable that they are given a written parental consent for the travel. The document can be a written travel consent from the parents included in the child's travel documents to be presented, as required, to the authorities in the country of destination.

Under Finnish law, parents who have joint custody of a child must decide together about all matters concerning the child. One parent (or any other person) does not have the right to take the child abroad without the consent of the other parent (or both parents). Finnish law does not specify how the consent should be worded. However, please bear in mind that even if the child does leave Finland, the authorities at the border of a different country may require a written consent.

You must always remember to check the requirements on unaccompanied children from the authorities of the country of destination. Some countries (for example Russia and South Africa) have detailed instructions on what kind of consent they require.

Airlines may also have their own requirements. Even in the absence of any requirements, it is always good to have the parents' written consent.  The parents/parents can compose a letter of consent themselves. It can be in the language of the country of destination or in English. The letter should include the travel details and the parents' contact information and be signed by them.

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Content administrator Unit for Consular Assistance

Updated 9/1/2016

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