Special Information for Minor Children
Minor children born outside of a registered marriage must present a paternity certificate confirming the paternity claim of the father.
Minor children immigrating permanently to the United States must have the permission of both birth parents to immigrate, especially if the parents are divorced. In cases of divorce, the non-accompanying birth parent should prepare a notarized statement and certified translation that they do not oppose their child’s permanent immigration to the United States. Consent is not required if the accompanying birth parent has a single mother document or missing person court decree, certifying that the location of the second parent is unknown. In single parent cases, the aforementioned supporting documents should be presented with certified translations.
Minor children whose birth parents both reside abroad, or minor children who are not in the legal custody of their birth parents, should apply for their immigrant visas with a legal guardian who is legally empowered to act on their behalf. Parents may assign power of attorney to a trusted person, or a court may appoint a guardian to act on a child’s behalf to execute their immigrant visa application. In these cases, these legal documents and their certified translations should be presented to the Consular Section.
Minor Children Traveling Unaccompanied
Airlines have special programs in place to assist unaccompanied minors during flights and onward connections. Each program varies by airline, and we encourage you to call the airline or review their websites for specific information, especially if there is a connecting flight. In general, "unaccompanied minor services" are offered by air carriers for children 5 – 13 years old. There is usually an additional fee for this service. Most airlines require in advance that certain information be provided via a special form available from the airline. Airlines may request biographical information (e.g. passport information, address, telephone numbers) about the person who will accompany the child to the airport, and the person who will meet the child at the destination.
Information about unaccompanied minor programs can usually be found on airline websites under "Information – flying with children," or "information – special passengers."