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Irish Travel Documents for Children

If you’re planning to bring children with you on your trip to Ireland, there are certain documents you may want to take with you to show Irish immigration officers.

For more information about travelling to Ireland, including the rules and regulations you must follow, and specific travel advice for your personal circumstances, reach out to one of our legal advisers for advice. Call us on +353 (0) 61 518 025, or contact us online today.

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    Overview of Irish Travel Documents for Children

    When travelling with children to Ireland, it’s important to consider some extra guidelines you may wish to follow.

    These may include bringing additional documents with you, or being prepared to answer additional questions that immigration officers may ask you.

    These guidelines are in place to uphold Ireland’s child safeguarding policies.

    Note that a child here is defined as someone who is under the age of 18 who is not, and has never been, married.

    Note also that certain airlines and carriers may have their own individual policies regarding children that are independent of the Irish Immigration Service’s.

    Guidelines for Unaccompanied Minors

    If anyone under the age of 18 is travelling to Ireland on their own without being accompanied by an adult, it’s recommended that they carry certain documents with them.

    These include the following:

    • A signed letter from the child’s parent(s)/guardian containing their contact details and giving consent for travel
    • A copy of a document identifying the parent/guardian, such as a copy of their passport or driving licence
    • Evidence of the parent/guardian relationship with the child, such as a copy of a birth or adoption certificate, or guardianship papers
    • A death certificate, in the event that one or more parents are deceased

    In addition, if the unaccompanied minor is not ordinarily resident in Ireland, they should also have the following information:

    • Full address of where they will be staying
    • Full contact details of who they will be staying with

    Meeting an Unaccompanied Minor upon Arrival

    When the unaccompanied minor arrives in Ireland, an immigration officer may also wish to establish the relationship between the child and any adult meeting the child upon arrival.

    In this instance, a similar set of documents may be required as those stated above.

    Travelling with a Minor Who Is Not Your Child or Has a Different Surname

    If an adult is travelling with a minor who isn’t their child or who has a different surname, they may be asked by an immigration officer to clarify the relationship between the minor and accompanying adult.

    In this instance, it’s advisable that you’re able to provide certain documents to the immigration officer, such as those proving that you’re the parent or legal guardian of the child. These may include the following:

    • The child’s birth certificate or adoption certificate, or guardianship papers showing your relationship with the child
    • A marriage/divorce certificate if you are the child’s parent but have a different surname to the child
    • A death certificate in the case of a deceased parent

    If the Minor is Only Travelling with One Parent

    In the case that the child is travelling with only one parent, you may also have to provide evidence of the other parent’s consent. This may include the following:

    • A signed letter from the child’s parent(s)/guardian giving their contact details and consent for travel with you
    • A copy of a document identifying the parent/guardian, such as a copy of the picture page of a passport or driving licence
    • Evidence of the parent/guardian relationship with the child, such as a copy of a birth or adoption certificate, or guardianship papers

    Note that it’s recommended for any minors to present to an immigration officer as part of their family unit or group, and not individually.

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      Groups Travelling With Minors

      There are also specific guidelines for groups travelling with minors, such as school tour groups.

      In this instance, it’s recommended that groups consisting of both adults and minors first gather in the immigration hall before presenting themselves to an immigration officer.

      The adult group leader should then present themselves to the immigration officer first and be ready to present the following documents:

      • The list of all members in the group
      • For each child:
        • A letter of consent for travel with the adult group leader from each minor’s parent(s)/guardian(s), including contact details
        • A copy of a birth or adoption certificate, or guardianship papers showing the parent(s)/guardian(s) relationship with the child
        • A copy of marriage/divorce certificate in the case where the child’s parent has a different surname to the child
        • A copy of the parent/guardian’s passport or state identity document

      Each child should also carry their own passport or identity document.

      What Else Do I Need to Do to Prepare to Enter Ireland?

      All members of your travel group, whether minors or adults, must also be mindful of the general advice and guidelines for crossing the border into Ireland.

      For example, all members of your party must carry a valid passport or travel document if you’re travelling from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA). All children must carry a separate child’s passport with them, as they will not be allowed to be added to a parent’s passport for travel.

      You may also require a visa, a stamp or pre-clearance, depending on the reason for your visit and how long you intend to stay in Ireland for.

      In addition, it’s advised that you have the following with you when entering Ireland:

      • Proof that you have requisite funds to support yourself and your dependants while in Ireland
      • Details of your accommodation in Ireland
      • Proof of onward travel, or proof that you’ll return to your home country after your visit ends
      • Proof of commitments or ties to your home country, such as family, work, or other things that will convince an immigration officer that you will leave Ireland after your stay

      You must also have proof that you meet the requirements for whichever visa, stamp or pre-clearance you’ve applied for, if this applies to you.

      Why Might I Be Refused Entry into Ireland?

      An immigration officer may refuse entry into Ireland to you if they believe any of the following may be true:

      • You’re unable to financially support yourself or your dependants while in Ireland
      • You’re planning to take up work or employment without a valid permit
      • You have been convicted of a criminal offence that carries a penalty of a year’s imprisonment or more
      • You don’t have a valid visa when you’re required to have one
      • You’re subject to a deportation order, an exclusion order or similar
      • You do not have a valid passport
      • You intend to travel to the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) and you don’t have permission to do so
      • Granting you entry into Ireland could pose a threat to national security or health and safety
      • You’ve travelled to Ireland for a different reason than you have given the immigration officer

      How Can Total Law Help?

      When travelling to a foreign country, you should ensure you’re familiar with and up to date with the most recent and relevant guidelines for your destination. This is especially important when travelling with children, as there may well be extra precautions and regulations in place to ensure their safe travel.

      If you need any additional assistance with your trip to Ireland, including making sure that you and any children travelling with you meet Irish immigration requirements, Total Law is here to help.

      We are a team of expert, independent and professional legal advisers who offer bespoke immigration and legal assistance. Whether you need extra help with carrying relevant documentation for travel, need assistance understanding Irish entry requirements, or wish to ensure that your child will be able to travel into Ireland safely, we can help.

      We can also help liaise with the Department of Foreign Affairs or a passport office on your behalf or help you with your passport application form if you need to apply for a new passport before travel.

      For more information about the services we offer and what we could do for you, reach out to one of our immigration advisers today. Call us on +353 (0) 61 518 025, or contact us online.

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