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Taking Godson to Italy: any extra docs needed?

Taking Godson to Italy: any extra docs needed?

Old Aug 11, 19, 12:50 pm
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Taking Godson to Italy: any extra docs needed?

Hello all! May I seek the board’s sage advice, please?

I have done a search of FT and also Google and there seems to be fairly conflicting info. I am taking my 13 yr old Godson to Italy for a few days later this week.

His parents are bringing him to the airport for check in so that should be fine. The internet suggests bringing a letter from the parents but to my mind, I fail to see how that carries any evidential weight as anyone could write a letter.

I plan to just let him walk through immigration etc. on his own with us behind him in the queue.

I don’t foresee any great problems and am not terribly excited but is anyone aware of any showstoppers?
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Old Aug 11, 19, 12:59 pm
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It's better to have a parental permission letter than not, and isn't much hassle. In addition, you should have a signed medical power of attorney in order to authorize medical treatment in an emergency (and proof of NHS or private medical insurance, as well as information on any serious medical conditions).
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:05 pm
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I would never travel internationally with someone else child without a document (notarized or not) authorizing the travel, together with copy of parents/legal guardians' passports.
Originally Posted by starlight View Post
I plan to just let him walk through immigration etc. on his own with us behind him in the queue.
I also don't think he would be allowed easily through immigration without an adult escort.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:09 pm
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There could conceivably be problems re-entering the UK as you'll have to go to a passport desk as he's too young to do e-gates by himself as he's not with a parent ... Have all the evidence you can scrape together of parental permission, with maybe a photocopy of his birth certificate to demonstrate they actually are his parents just in case Border Control want to be sure it's not something shady. I direct personal experience of this - I took my niece and her child who has a different surname to Italy last year, there were no problems in entering or leaving Italy but she had to produce the child's birth certificate to prove the relationship at UK Immigration.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:16 pm
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Might be useful if you found out the actual requirements from the IItalian and/or UK authorities rather than asking here.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:26 pm
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I don't know about the Italy situation.

But the age limit on the UK e-gates is now 12 years old, provided supervised by an adult, who doesn't need to be the parent.

A letter isn't strictly required for the UK either, but it may help, and it can result in a telephone call to the parents or legal guardian. It doesn't need legalisation. The Border Force have several methods to verify names against telephone numbers, passports against relationships.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:51 pm
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I've been stopped coming through Dover with my wife, daughter and daughters friend (both kids aged 14 at the time). Luckily we had a parental approval letter, there are templates available for free download.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 2:20 pm
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We did this with my Nephew , again going to Italy .
No questions asked when taking him out of the UK .
coming back however despite parental letter they wanted to interview him separately and ring his parents .........
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Old Aug 11, 19, 2:32 pm
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Thank you all. I have a letter and parents dropping him off and collecting him at the airport (I recognise that may not help border control on our return) so will take authorisation letter and see what happens. I will also ask parents for copy of birth certificate and passports and will report back next week!
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Old Aug 11, 19, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by simonsmith View Post
We did this with my Nephew , again going to Italy .
No questions asked when taking him out of the UK .
coming back however despite parental letter they wanted to interview him separately and ring his parents .........


Whilst a pain in some ways the approach is of course better to safeguard him if you weren't his uncle. It's a sad world we live in but better he's taken away from you briefly to establish such things than it being easy for him to be trafficked.

Whilst it's still advisable to have such letters the oft lack of issues is that there is a pretty decent system in place for identifying at risk minors passing through airports in the UK( including those travelling with their own parents). It isn't perfect, no system is, but it is pretty effective.

OP having additional things like his parents passport copies etc should help speed up any delays but hey I think we can all agree it's a case of where we'd rather the authorities aired on the 'better safe than sorry' side of things
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Old Aug 11, 19, 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by starlight View Post
Thank you all. I have a letter and parents dropping him off and collecting him at the airport (I recognise that may not help border control on our return) so will take authorisation letter and see what happens. I will also ask parents for copy of birth certificate and passports and will report back next week!
Always good to be well prepared but hopefully things will be fine. I just wanted to say what a lovely godfather you are and what a great trip for your godson. I have visions of a besuited godfather inculcating the beauty of Italy into a questing mind. Or perhaps just a splash in the sea. Either way, have fun!
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Old Aug 11, 19, 5:25 pm
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How does Border Force know if an adult is the parent or not? If you have different surnames, are you expected to carry their birth certificate around for 18 years?
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Old Aug 11, 19, 8:55 pm
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Not updated on the UK legal aspects, but surely Italy would pose no problems?

After all, it's the motherland of Godfathers
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Old Aug 11, 19, 10:36 pm
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Originally Posted by onobond View Post
Not updated on the UK legal aspects, but surely Italy would pose no problems?

After all, it's the motherland of Godfathers
Probably only if you have a foreign passport. If you have an Italian one, it's a PITA.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 12:12 pm
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“Until they reach 14 years of age, Italian minors can leave the country provided that:
  • they are accompanied by at least one parent or guardian
  • alternatively, the name of the person (up to a maximum of two), body or transport company to whom the minors have been entrusted should appear on the passport or on a letter of consent issued by a competent authority (a police headquarters in Italy and/or a consular office abroad).
The same documents needed to travel from Italy are required to travel back.”

That’s for children resident in Italy or who are Italian citizens. And often what passport control expects of their own country’s citizens/residents in such circumstances they will want also from at least some foreign visitors/travelers too — that or something relatively analogous to it.

Signed letter with parents ID copy and video testimony with kid included should work perfectly fine for a non-Italian passing by Italian passport control.
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