Minors traveling to US need consent: MOFA

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 - Page 3

People traveling to the US with minors who are not their own children must have a letter of consent signed by the child’s parents, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs issued a statement yesterday to remind people of the entry rule following a recent case of a Taiwanese couple being detained by US customs for bringing their six-year-old grandchild to the country without a letter of travel consent.

According to the Chinese-language United Daily News, a man surnamed Wu (吳) said he and his wife were detained by US customs officials at San Francisco International Airport for an hour after they were unable to produce the required documents.

During the detention, customs officials searched their luggage and contacted their daughter living in the city, asking her to clarify whether the couple might be involved in an act of child abduction or human trafficking, Wu said.

The daughter said that she had suggested that the customs officers talk to her elder brother, the father of the child, but the suggestion was not accepted.

The US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection has demanded that travelers who escort a minor without the child’s parents have a letter from both parents indicating that they have permission to travel with the minor, the ministry’s statement said.

If the child is accompanied by only one parent, the parent should have a note from the other parent, the statement said.

The US applies the rule to all travelers from all countries, not specifically to Taiwanese, and some other countries have similar entry regulations, the ministry said.