Children travelling with neither parent
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Dec 3, 2012 11:26 AM Last Post By: amobr82
Nov 30, 2012 9:28 AM
Children travelling with neither parentApparently the rules regarding children entering Mexico have changed. Please see below for a letter written by a dear friend who's being seriously affected by these rules and offer what advice you can:
To Whom it may concern,
I have a very large problem and I am sending this out to anybody I can think of in any position of authority who might be able to help me.
My 15 year old son has been travelling to Mexico for the past 3 years to vacation and visit with his father who spends much of the winter in Barra de Navidad, Jalisco. On each of these trips he has been accompanied by a family well known and well trusted by my ex-husband and I. In the past, we have each provided the family with notarized letters of authorization and consent and we have not had any problems. He is due to fly to Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico on Dec 7 from Kelowna BC. I was informed, only this morning by a friend who just happened to catch this on the evening news...
....that this documentation would be insufficient due to the new regulations that require these authorization letters to be LEGALIZED by the Mexican Consulate or Embassy and translated into Spanish.
The changes I am referring to are here
This is very UPSETTING to me for the following reasons:
This new regulation seems to have been passed without any prior notification to the public. My sons' father purchased the airline ticket in Oct and was not informed of any upcoming changes to requirements or documentation.
It is very difficult to even FIND these new regulations.
How do you have your consent letter LEGALIZED by the Mexican Consulate or Embassy? What does this mean? How does one accomplish this, especially living in a rural area?
I do understand the need to protect our children, I do understand the need for translation into Spanish for the benefit of the Mexican Immigration officials. I do not understand why this new regulation was pushed through before the public could become aware and I definitely do not understand why "minors travelling with at least one of their parents do not require any documentation at all".
I live in a rural area, Silverton B.C. I am a single mother with a full time job and I do not have the time or the means to drop everything and run around to try to figure this out on such short notice. I have only a very short time to amend my letter of consent, have it translated into Spanish and have it witnessed and signed by a commissioner of oaths.
I have been unable to contact the father of my child, he may be en route to Mexico or he may be already there. He completed a letter of consent as was required in the past.
My friends are set to drive, with my son to Kelowna (a 4 hr drive in perfect conditions) on Thursday, Dec 6 so that they may all make their flight Dec 7 at 6:00 am. I can not be present on this trip, I will be at work. What is to happen to my son if he is denied access at the border?
Can anybody please help me with this problem?
Nov 30, 2012 10:28 AM
Nov 30, 2012 11:57 AM
Nov 30, 2012 12:22 PM
3This appears to be very similar to what Brazil requires. A child travelling without the parents (in custody of a friend or the airline) or with only one parent must have a form signed by the absent parent or parents that allows him/her to travel. This is to prevent cross border kidnapping, even parental kidnapping. In the case of Brazil, the form is issued by the Brazilian Consulate ouside Brazil or by the government organization dealing with issues of minors within Brazil. It is strictly enforced leaving Brazil, but for embarking on an international flight for Brazil, or crossing a land border into Brazil, I don't have personal experience.
Brazil also requires documents to be "recognized" and stamped for various purposes (which simply says they are legal in the country of origin and not false/forged, something a person at a border crossing is unable to verify otherwise). It costs about U$20 and the document can be mailed to the Consulate. If the document is hand drafted, a notary's signature is also required before sending the doc to the Consulate.
Perhaps you can do something similar at the Mexican Consulate with jurisdiction over your residence.
I understand the timing is inconvenient, and even if your precious child is older and not so much in that position, do give thanks that someone is apparently trying to do something about international child kidnappings.
Nov 30, 2012 1:21 PM
Nov 30, 2012 3:39 PM
I have seen an indication that Canada was a signatory to an international convention and the new regulations were incorporated into the major changes by Mexican Immigration on November 9. Apparently, the U.S. was not a signatory and thus there were no changes for U.S. citizens.
If this transition is anything like the other changes made by INM there will be a great deal of confusion for airlines, INM, consulates and the public.
Nov 30, 2012 4:04 PM
6#5: There are no reports of problems for ANY country except Canada. (This would have been news in the UK if people were being turned back.) And if the U.S. didn't sign up to laws against child trafficking then there's still nothing they could do about it once the child was on Mexican soil. I just can't understand why this is a uniquely Canadian problem...
Nov 30, 2012 4:06 PM
7Bowenarrow (OP) - no need to panic. The Mexican authorities have recognized the problem and postponed the change. See here: http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/vancouver/#engmenor
Dec 1, 2012 10:54 AM
8"And if the U.S. didn't sign up to laws against child trafficking then there's still nothing they could do about it once the child was on Mexican soil"
In fact, U.S. senators and the head of the state department and even the president got involved in the last successfully (for the kids) resolved kidnapping case(s) to Brazilian soil, so I wouldn't say there's "nothing they could do".
Dec 1, 2012 2:21 PM
9Good news . The new rules for minors have been postponed until February.
Dec 1, 2012 8:02 PM
10amobr82... U.S.-Brazilian relations are rather beside the point. The rationale was that there was no reason for U.S. senators and the Secretary of State (or the equivalent Canadian or Mexican officials) to be involved in routine parental abduction cases, and Mexico has had these these regulations regarding travel by unescorted minors from the U.S. and Canada for at least the last 20 years.
Dec 2, 2012 8:09 AM
Dec 2, 2012 12:23 PM
Dec 3, 2012 11:17 AM
13Why would the U.S. be involved in what is a Canadian-Mexican issue? My sense is that this may be the airlines over-interpreting a regulation or a a tit-for-tat diplomatic move by Mexico in response to Canadian regulations.The paperwork and income verification procedures for young Mexicans entering Canada is rather onerous.
Dec 3, 2012 11:26 AM
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