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advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permission

advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permission

Old May 22nd 2012, 9:43 am
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Default advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permission

right, i was planning on taking my daughter to america for the summer holiday. we was going to go for 5 weeks. as i understand i cant take her for longer than 4 weeks without fathers permission. father has agreed to give permission for her to go for the 5 weeks, so i have been reading up about the letter that i need with his permission that would need to be presented at the airports, if asked for.

so i gathered i need a notarized letter. having contacted a solicitors that does these, only to realise he has NO i.d, no passport, no driving license, no tenancy agreement, no medical cards, no fixed abode so no letters proving address or anything! the only things he could scrape together would be a benefits letter and a a birth certificate, which the solicitors say is not enough.

so my question is has anybody been in this situation before?
will a none notarized letter signed by him be enough?
has anybody just used a normal letter with a contact number on for the border agency to call and check on the day if needed? thanks
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Old May 22nd 2012, 12:09 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

Originally Posted by misspearce View Post
right, i was planning on taking my daughter to america for the summer holiday. we was going to go for 5 weeks. as i understand i cant take her for longer than 4 weeks without fathers permission. father has agreed to give permission for her to go for the 5 weeks, so i have been reading up about the letter that i need with his permission that would need to be presented at the airports, if asked for.

so i gathered i need a notarized letter. having contacted a solicitors that does these, only to realise he has NO i.d, no passport, no driving license, no tenancy agreement, no medical cards, no fixed abode so no letters proving address or anything! the only things he could scrape together would be a benefits letter and a a birth certificate, which the solicitors say is not enough.

so my question is has anybody been in this situation before?
will a none notarized letter signed by him be enough?
has anybody just used a normal letter with a contact number on for the border agency to call and check on the day if needed? thanks
I'm sorry, but I haven't been in your position so can only offer my layman's opinion. You can only offer what you've got so if it was me, i'd put together a formal looking typed letter and get the father to sign it and have someone of good standing witness it and yes, add a contact number.
Hopefully someone who's been through this will come along.
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Old May 22nd 2012, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

Why not just go for 4 weeks and remove the element of worry?
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Old May 22nd 2012, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

A few years ago I took my son on holiday for 6 weeks to visit my family in the US. I am married to his father, however he didn't come with us on the holiday. So a slightly different situation, however I was never asked by anyone for a letter to state that the father gave me permission.

I believe it only comes up if the father pushes the situation. i.e. tells the police you took his child out of the country without permission. At that point you would need a letter stating that he gave you permission prior to taking your daughter out of the country.
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Old May 22nd 2012, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

thanks lisa, i think im going to have to chance it and try that. hopefully if they wont accept that then they will just let us stay for the 4 weeks which is better than nothing. i wonder if it makes a difference the fact that her dad has has not signed her passport, as last time we went we only stayed for 2 weeks but when they stamped her passport on the stamp it said 25th october/january 23rd ? why was this if i didnt show a letter with permission that i could stay for longer than 4 weeks?

and i was thinking about just going for the 4 weeks but if theres a chance of spending an extra week with my fiance then i needed to see if there was a way around it seems we wont see each other until mid january next yr ;/
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Old May 22nd 2012, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

Originally Posted by MrsWaring View Post
A few years ago I took my son on holiday for 6 weeks to visit my family in the US. I am married to his father, however he didn't come with us on the holiday. So a slightly different situation, however I was never asked by anyone for a letter to state that the father gave me permission.

I believe it only comes up if the father pushes the situation. i.e. tells the police you took his child out of the country without permission. At that point you would need a letter stating that he gave you permission prior to taking your daughter out of the country.

thanks for reply, its good to hear of someone who has done it, well this gives me more hope
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Old May 22nd 2012, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

Originally Posted by misspearce View Post
thanks for reply, its good to hear of someone who has done it, well this gives me more hope
Again, I must stress that ours was a slightly different situation as I am still married to the father.

Do you and your daughter have the same last name?

The reason I ask that is I wonder if more questions may be asked if she has a different name to you.

Also I will say that I travelled on my American passport and my son on his British passport (he only had a British passport at the time) and the only questions I was ever asked by Border control in the US was why have I not got his American passport yet. lol
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Old May 22nd 2012, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

Originally Posted by misspearce View Post
but when they stamped her passport on the stamp it said 25th october/january 23rd ? why was this if i didnt show a letter with permission that i could stay for longer than 4 weeks?
Because the VWP allows entry for up to 90 days
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Old May 22nd 2012, 2:37 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

She has both our last names (double barrelled)
I guess ill just try the normal letter and hope for the best
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Old May 22nd 2012, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

A simple letter stating the father gives permission to allow the child to travel to the US between certain dates, witnessed by and notarised by someone that does it will be fine.

You probably won't need it, but it is handy if you get asked at check in.

Length of trip is irrelevant.
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Old May 22nd 2012, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

Thanks bob but the father does not have the identification needed by the solicitors,That do the notarizing, this is my dilema
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Old May 22nd 2012, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

Originally Posted by misspearce View Post
Thanks bob but the father does not have the identification needed by the solicitors,That do the notarizing, this is my dilema
Then find another person to notalise the letter.

All they are doing is confirming that the person who wrote the letter is the person they claim to be. You mention they had a birth cert, so that will do.
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Old May 22nd 2012, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

Originally Posted by MrsWaring View Post
Again, I must stress that ours was a slightly different situation as I am still married to the father.

Do you and your daughter have the same last name?

The reason I ask that is I wonder if more questions may be asked if she has a different name to you.

Also I will say that I travelled on my American passport and my son on his British passport (he only had a British passport at the time) and the only questions I was ever asked by Border control in the US was why have I not got his American passport yet. lol
I've only ever been asked once for 'the letter' when traveling with my daughter without my husband. This time was when I was passing through Canada on our way from California to England. We have different last names, she is on USA passport and I am on British. And the border agent who asked had no idea how long our trip was for, he just wanted to know if I had permission.

I looked shocked (after all, I visited 4 continents and multiple flights with her) and he just said, "next time you need a letter" but did nothing else. He did in fact ask my daughter, who was four at the time, who I was. Luckily she correctly identified me as Mummy; he then asked where Daddy was and she piped up "sailing!" (which was true). The poor guy probably felt sorry for me and let me go.
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Old May 22nd 2012, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

Originally Posted by misspearce View Post
Thanks bob but the father does not have the identification needed by the solicitors,That do the notarizing, this is my dilema
Perhaps the "magic language" with the father's signature will suffice:

"I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date)

Print Name:

Signature:"


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Old May 22nd 2012, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: advice needed on taking daughter on holiday for 5 weeks/ fathers letter of permis

Originally Posted by misspearce View Post
right, i was planning on taking my daughter to america for the summer holiday. we was going to go for 5 weeks. as i understand i cant take her for longer than 4 weeks without fathers permission.
Can I answer this as a retired Special Branch officer who use to enforce the Child Abduction Act at Heathrow airport, and made quite a few arrests for that offence.

First you need permission full stop, regardless of the time out of the country. The 4 weeks comes in as there is a statutory defense to an allegation of child abduction, if you were out of the country on holiday. After an absence of more than 4 weeks that defense doesn't apply. The child can be prevented from leaving the UK, even for an absence of less than 4 weeks.

I sometimes randomly stopped a single parent with a child. Quite often it could be sorted by speaking with the other parent on the telephone and a few quick checks, or a visit by the local police. If you have a letter (I don't remember ever seeing a notarized one) signed by the father, the father is contactable to verify the information, or you are traveling during such times as your solicitor is contactable if the father isn't, it is normally quickly resolved. That is if you are stopped at the exit controls, or the airline decide to call in the first place.
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