Don’t Forget This Document if You’re a Chaperone for an International Group Trip

Aug 20, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

This one applies to families as well as coaches, chaperones, or any other adult in charge of getting a minor that isn’t a part of their family overseas and back: Make sure you bring proper documentation.

Given the responsibility that immigration desks and airlines globally have to detect and stop human trafficking, there’s an increasing amount of documentation required to travel with minors who aren’t your own children — specifically notarized parental consent forms.

As an anecdote, my brother-in-law recently returned from a trip to Jamaica, where he was overseeing a group of teenagers on a humanitarian mission. Upon arrival into Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport (MBJ), he was asked to produce parental consent forms for each member of the party. The immigration agent studied each form carefully, matching the names on the forms with the names on passports. Had he not had those forms, all of the fundraising for the trip would’ve been for naught, as each member of the party would have had to return home without entering the country.

Who Would This Impact?

RDU
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) Terminal 2 interior (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

If you’re a coach, instructor, or group leader, it’s not uncommon to find yourself in charge of a minor that isn’t related to you. Here are a few international travel situations where you’d need to be mindful should you find yourself in charge of a group:

  • Sports team traveling overseas for competition
  • Musical, dance, or artistic team
  • Humanitarian, philanthropic, or charity group
  • Educational or study abroad group
  • Family vacation, wedding, or funeral with unrelated friends joining

What Do I Need?

Grand Cayman Airport
Don’t let a warm welcome, as seen here in Grand Cayman, be ruined by a lack of documentation (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

While rules surrounding what’s needed for a minor traveling with you to clear immigration vary from nation to nation, you should definitely require that each minor traveling with you bring their birth certificate, a notarized parental consent form and their passport.

While the United States Customs and Border Protection agency doesn’t supply an official form to act as a Parental Consent Letter, it does provide a recommendation overview. Moreover, you can find a solid template here. If you wish to create your own, make sure it has the following:

  • Your team or organization’s letterhead, graphic, or logo
  • The minor’s full name (matching the passport and birth certificate that they’re carrying)
  • The minor’s date of birth
  • The minor’s place of birth
  • The minor’s passport nationality and number
  • The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) full names, both printed and signed
  • A brief paragraph summarizing the reason for the trip, acknowledgment of the chaperone’s name, and permission for the minor to be a part of the trip
  • The travel period (start and end date)
  • A list of the hotels or addresses where the minor will be staying
  • A notary’s seal

Bottom Line

Yes, securing these documents ahead of time can be tedious, but it pales in comparison to the potential headache of having minors in your group asked to board the first flight back to their homeland. Do you have any tips for large families and groups traveling abroad? Let us know in comments, and chime in at the TPG Lounge on Facebook.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.