Children‘s travelling without parents
Children’s travelling without parents is regulated not only by legal acts but also by the internal regulations of international carriers. The situation differs when children travel in the Schengen and other than Schengen area.
Travelling in the Schengen countries
A minor may travel alone to the countries belonging to the Schengen Area, that is, without being accompanied by his parents or one of the parents. It is necessary for him to have a passport or an identity card. It should be noted that some carriers (airlines, bus companies) can establish a different, stricter procedure seeking to ensure the interests of the minors. They can allow a minor travel on his own only from the age of 14 or 16 years, they can demand the presence of an accompanying person, etc. In each specific case one should appeal to the carriers or airlines.
Travelling in other than the Schengen countries
When travelling in other than the Schengen Area it is important to single out cases when children travel from Lithuania and to Lithuania.
Travelling from Lithuania to other than the Schengen countries
When travelling to other than the Schengen Area it is important to single out cases when children travel from Lithuania and to Lithuania.
When a child travels from Lithuania to a foreign country that does not belong to the Schengen Area on his own or together with his parents, a guardian or a person authorised to accompany him, it is necessary to follow the description of the Procedure for the Child’s Temporary Departure for Foreign Countries which do not Belong to the Schengen Are approved by Resolution No. 302 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 28 February 2002.
- A child who travels to a foreign country that does not belong to the Schengen Area with one of the parents shall need no consent of a second parent.
- If a child travels on his own or with a person accompanying him (rather than with one of his parents) written consent of at least one of the parents or a guardian (carer) must be submitted so that a child should depart on his own or with a person accompanying him. The veracity of the signature must be certified by a notary or by an official of a diplomatic mission or a consular post of the Republic of Lithuania or by an Elder. It is worth making a copy of consent though no legal act provides for that.
- When the child’s surname does not coincide with that of one of his parents with whom the child is leaving for a foreign country, it is worth while having the certificate of birth of the child.
You should also remember that the requirements of the Schengen Area do not apply to such EU states as Great Britain, Ireland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, and Croatia. It means that if a child travels on his own to these or other than the Schengen countries, his parents or guardians shall have to apply to a notary prior to the trip so that the latter should certify the parents’ consent to the child’s trip abroad.
- Travelling from other than the Schengen countries to Lithuania
When travelling to Lithuania rather than from Lithuania, or when a minor is registered in a foreign country, rules might differ. The countries which do not belong to the Schengen Are can establish different rules for the children travelling without their parents. In certain cases the rules might be made stricter, in other cases – made easier.
Intending to allow their child to travel alone read the rules of a specific airline company or land carrier carefully and become acquainted with the laws of the country your child is going to. As has already been mentioned, carriers can make the rules, which apply to both travelling in the Schengen Area and beyond it, stricter.
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