Travel With a US Citizen Child

If your child was born in the U.S., he or she is considered a U.S. citizen. If you plan to take your child to another country, you need to consider their travel needs as a U.S. citizen (unless you have made arrangements for dual citizenship). Your child may need a visa to enter the country to which you will travel. Your child will also need a U.S. passport (as well as a passport from the second country if a dual citizen).

If your child will be traveling with only one parent, or someone other than both parents, they could encounter problems both departing the U.S. or returning to the U.S. This is because the U.S. and other countries need to ensure a child is not being taken across international borders without parental consent. If one parent will stay behind, that parent should write a letter indicating the name and date of birth of the child or children as well as the name and date of birth of the parent traveling with them, and state that the children are traveling with their knowledge and permission. The parent should then print the letter but NOT sign it, and bring the unsigned letter to International Student and Scholar Services. Also bring one form of photo id, such as a passport or driver’s license. The ISSS receptionist will then ask the parent to sign the letter in front of her and can then affix a notary seal to verify the letter comes from that person. Then the parent traveling with the U.S. citizen child should carry this letter with the child’s passport when both departing and re-entering the U.S. If neither parent is traveling with the U.S. citizen child, then both parents should write the letter and come to ISSS together to have it notarized.