Traveling with your child: update on formalities

Are you anxiously awaiting the end of the restrictions linked to the pandemic to go on vacation with your children abroad? It is essential that you learn about the various administrative formalities before purchasing your tickets and thus avoid unpleasant surprises at the border. And for good reason, several questions arise at this level, in particular from the point of view of the documents necessary for a child’s trip abroad. We take stock.

What administrative travel formalities for children?

Are you planning to travel with your child within the European Union? Note that you just need to bring a national identity card and a family record book that mentions the parentage link to cross the border without any problem. However, if you are traveling outside European territory, then it will be compulsory to apply for a personal passport for your child. Some countries may also require a visa. Do not hesitate to inquire at the embassy of the country in which you are going to spend your holidays or at any other consular representation. The website of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs can also guide you.

But what if the child travels to a European country alone? In this case, the minor child who does not have a personal passport must have an express authorization to leave the territory and a valid national identity card. However, a valid personal passport is essential (and a visa, if applicable) if the child is traveling alone to a country outside the European Union.

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How to obtain the child’s identity documents?

Let’s start with the national identity card. This is issued to the town hall of your place of residence free of charge, and is valid for a period of 10 years. To obtain it, you must present some supporting documents, in particular the family record book, your identity document, two recent identity photos, proof of address and an extract of birth certificate with parentage (you can also formulate a request for a full copy of the birth certificate). Note also that the request must be made in the presence of the minor child, in addition to a person exercising parental authority.

The minor’s passport is valid for 5 years. In the same way, it is enough to address you to the town hall of your place of residence. You will then have to fill out a form, always in the presence of the child. In addition to the documents mentioned above, it will be necessary to present proof of address, and a tax stamp of 19 euros, or 44 euros if the minor child is over 15 years old.

The cases of South Africa and the United States

Minors traveling from or to South Africa are required to have in their possession the official documents that the authorities of the country require (list available on the website of the Ministry of the Interior of South Africa). Note that this requirement applies to both minors traveling alone and those traveling accompanied by a parent or another person. For the United States, unaccompanied children traveling to that country must present a customs declaration when they set foot on American soil.

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Pay attention to the health of the child on vacation

Do not forget to apply for an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) from your Primary Health Insurance Fund approximately one month before you go on holiday abroad with your child. This card is free, and is valid for a period of one year. It allows you to cover your medical costs in European countries. Also, before traveling to a foreign country, make sure your child is up to date with their immunizations, and don’t forget to find out about the required vaccines in the destination of your choice. Generally, hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines are most frequently requested.

Still from the point of view of the health of the child, know that a baby can fly safely from his 3e week. That said, it’s best to wait until they are a few months old before you fly with your newborn, and book an overnight flight at times that match their sleeping hours.

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