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travel abroad with Thai child but without parents


heretostay

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Hi all,

 

I didn't find this case on the forum yet and apologize if I'm in the wrong place.

I'd like to take a Thai minor (5 years old) on a short trip to Singapore.  I am not the child's guardian (the parents, both Thai, are close friends of mine), but the school has my name on the child's school ID card as his ผู้ปกครอง.

What documents do I need to present to Thai immigration on the way out?

I've sent an e-mail to the Singapore embassy in Bangkok about requirements for entering Singapore, but if anyone knows that, too, I'm all ears.

 

Thanks a million.

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You must obtain a letter consenting to the minor travelling, from the parents (mother in particular) which must be written at, and by the local amphur for the district in which the minor resides. The parents must sign in the presence of the senior officer at the amphur, and the letter must be countersigned/attested by that same official. The stamp/seal of the amphur must be affixed.

The letter must be no more than six months old on the date travel commences, and is returned to your possession for any future travel, after passing Immigration outbound. You must also take along when you travel, a certified copy of the minor's Thai birth certificate, again signed by the parent(s) consenting to the travel, and certified by the officer at the amphur. The amphur should have both knowledge of, and experience in writing such letters.

 

Be prepared for a lengthy, in depth interview with a senior immigration official at the point of departure. In particular, they will be very interested in your relationship with the child. They are likely to want to speak to the minor's parents. This may be by phone, or, if the parents come to the airport to 'see you both off' then the immigration officer may call them to interview. Allow extra airport time for this.

 

Beware: as I presume your family name is not the same as the child with whom you are travelling, a further letter, in English is likely to be required by the airline bringing you back from Singapore, before they agree to check you both in, and board.

Sorry, I do not know what the Singapore Immigration Authorities may require. Perhaps you will post the outcome of that after your journey?

 

I have thrice now had first hand experience of your predicament. In my case, travelling from Bangkok to the UK via the middle East with my 8 year old grandson, a dual national holding both Thai and UK travel documents, and sharing the same surname.

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22 hours ago, Dah fahrang said:

You must obtain a letter consenting to the minor travelling, from the parents (mother in particular) which must be written at, and by the local amphur for the district in which the minor resides. The parents must sign in the presence of the senior officer at the amphur, and the letter must be countersigned/attested by that same official. The stamp/seal of the amphur must be affixed.

The letter must be no more than six months old on the date travel commences, and is returned to your possession for any future travel, after passing Immigration outbound. You must also take along when you travel, a certified copy of the minor's Thai birth certificate, again signed by the parent(s) consenting to the travel, and certified by the officer at the amphur. The amphur should have both knowledge of, and experience in writing such letters.

 

Be prepared for a lengthy, in depth interview with a senior immigration official at the point of departure. In particular, they will be very interested in your relationship with the child. They are likely to want to speak to the minor's parents. This may be by phone, or, if the parents come to the airport to 'see you both off' then the immigration officer may call them to interview. Allow extra airport time for this.

 

Beware: as I presume your family name is not the same as the child with whom you are travelling, a further letter, in English is likely to be required by the airline bringing you back from Singapore, before they agree to check you both in, and board.

Sorry, I do not know what the Singapore Immigration Authorities may require. Perhaps you will post the outcome of that after your journey?

 

I have thrice now had first hand experience of your predicament. In my case, travelling from Bangkok to the UK via the middle East with my 8 year old grandson, a dual national holding both Thai and UK travel documents, and sharing the same surname.

Thanks for the detailed info. I will attempt it despite the seemingly complex procedure. The Child's family is somewhat well connected at the ampur. Worth a try.

Not sure I understand the purpose of the letter in English for the return flight. If you can explain, I'd appreciate it.

I haven't heard from the Singapore embassy yet but will keep you posted here.

Edited by heretostay
clarity of last sentence
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14 hours ago, thesetat2013 said:

You may also wish to bring the parents with you to the departing airport just in case their are questions from the thai immigration that you can not answer. As far as Singapore is concerned... You should not have ant trouble. 

Good suggestion.  I am a careful person.  I'll have the mother see us off at the airport, to reduce the risk of problems at passport control.

Still waiting for an answer from the Singapore embassy.  Will keep you posted here.

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11 hours ago, FritsSikkink said:

Why would you like to take a 5 year old which isn't yours to Singapore?

 

The plan is to meet up with European friends who already know the child and who will be visiting Singapore, and to take advantage of them being there to visit the Singapore zoo, as we haven't been overwhelmed by the one in Bangkok.  This is part of the child's education.

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8 minutes ago, heretostay said:

Thanks for the detailed info. I will attempt it despite the seemingly complex procedure. The Child's family is somewhat well connected at the ampur. Worth a try.

Not sure I understand the purpose of the letter in English for the return flight. If you can explain, I'd appreciate it.

I haven't heard from the Singapore embassy yet but will keep you posted here.

 

Not really that complicated. Depending where it is, the amphur will have knowledge of this procedure, and be able to produce a standard pro-forma letter easily. As long as the consenting parents are there to sign. You will not be required to attend. Your name will not be on the letter of consent. If there are "connections" at the amphur, then it will be a simple "in and out" event.

 

The letter in English: as you are travelling with a minor not bearing the same family name, of (presumably) different nationality, with differing nationality passports, I have witnessed airline staff refusing to accept passengers for check-in. (Qatar Airways, and Emirates, both at UK check-in). This, I believe, was due to concerns about child trafficking. I myself, travelling with my grandson who holds dual UK and Thai nationalities, was given a lengthy questioning when I presented my UK and his Thai passports for check in for a return to Thailand. The solution here was the presentation of his UK passport in addition to his Thai one.

In my post, i suggested this letter might be required for check-in on the return journey. The presumption is that the airline check-in staff on your outward journey can read Thai, so the letter from the amphur, albeit for immigration, would double up as proof the travel was legitimate and consented to.

Good luck with this. And, don't be deterred. Immigration, whilst thorough, were human, honorable and humane throughout.

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7 minutes ago, heretostay said:

 

The plan is to meet up with European friends who already know the child and who will be visiting Singapore, and to take advantage of them being there to visit the Singapore zoo, as we haven't been overwhelmed by the one in Bangkok.  This is part of the child's education.

I went to Singapore alone with my Thai-national daughter last year (July 2016), however she was 10 years old. No questioning at Singapore Immigration, but we did bring my Thai Girlfriend, the mother, with us to Thai departure Immigration, just in case, but no questions asked, presumable because my daughter has my family name and was 10-years old.

 

What I merely would say is, that you shall consider SEA, South East Asia Aquarium, at Sentosa Island. They state, that it's the biggest in the World, however it's impressive. I had my daughter up Bangkok to visit the aquarium under Siam Paragon when she was hardly 5 years old, and that was a great success. Our Singapore-visit was aimed at Sentosa only. There might well be more interesting and educational things at Sentosa for a 5-year old, so worth checking the 30+ attractions on Sentosa Island – just mono-rail and/or cable car might also be very exciting, or a trip up with the revolving view-tower

:smile:

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4 hours ago, heretostay said:

 

The plan is to meet up with European friends who already know the child and who will be visiting Singapore, and to take advantage of them being there to visit the Singapore zoo, as we haven't been overwhelmed by the one in Bangkok.  This is part of the child's education.

I think the parents are nuts to let somebody take their child to Singapore to meet up with other adults and to visit a zoo. 

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12 hours ago, Dah fahrang said:

 

Not really that complicated. Depending where it is, the amphur will have knowledge of this procedure, and be able to produce a standard pro-forma letter easily. As long as the consenting parents are there to sign. You will not be required to attend. Your name will not be on the letter of consent. If there are "connections" at the amphur, then it will be a simple "in and out" event.

 

The letter in English: as you are travelling with a minor not bearing the same family name, of (presumably) different nationality, with differing nationality passports, I have witnessed airline staff refusing to accept passengers for check-in. (Qatar Airways, and Emirates, both at UK check-in). This, I believe, was due to concerns about child trafficking. I myself, travelling with my grandson who holds dual UK and Thai nationalities, was given a lengthy questioning when I presented my UK and his Thai passports for check in for a return to Thailand. The solution here was the presentation of his UK passport in addition to his Thai one.

In my post, i suggested this letter might be required for check-in on the return journey. The presumption is that the airline check-in staff on your outward journey can read Thai, so the letter from the amphur, albeit for immigration, would double up as proof the travel was legitimate and consented to.

Good luck with this. And, don't be deterred. Immigration, whilst thorough, were human, honorable and humane throughout.

Thanks again for your thoughtful suggestions.

I was thinking of having the ampur letter translated into English - wouldn't that solve any possible problem on the return trip?

I'm surprised that my name is not on the letter from the Ampur - so it's a general authorization for the child to travel abroad without the parents, I guess.

There is no rush for this trip, so we'll take it one step at a time.  I'll get the parents into the ampur as soon as I can.

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12 hours ago, khunPer said:

I went to Singapore alone with my Thai-national daughter last year (July 2016), however she was 10 years old. No questioning at Singapore Immigration, but we did bring my Thai Girlfriend, the mother, with us to Thai departure Immigration, just in case, but no questions asked, presumable because my daughter has my family name and was 10-years old.

 

What I merely would say is, that you shall consider SEA, South East Asia Aquarium, at Sentosa Island. They state, that it's the biggest in the World, however it's impressive. I had my daughter up Bangkok to visit the aquarium under Siam Paragon when she was hardly 5 years old, and that was a great success. Our Singapore-visit was aimed at Sentosa only. There might well be more interesting and educational things at Sentosa for a 5-year old, so worth checking the 30+ attractions on Sentosa Island – just mono-rail and/or cable car might also be very exciting, or a trip up with the revolving view-tower

:smile:

Thanks for your suggestion.  We've never been to the Siam Paragon Aquarium - got to plan a trip there.
I'm not sure I want to prolong the visit to Singapore - maybe just two nights - since we've never done an overnight before other than to the child's family's home upcountry.  But will give Sentosa some thought nonetheless.

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1 hour ago, heretostay said:

Thanks for your suggestion.  We've never been to the Siam Paragon Aquarium - got to plan a trip there.
I'm not sure I want to prolong the visit to Singapore - maybe just two nights - since we've never done an overnight before other than to the child's family's home upcountry.  But will give Sentosa some thought nonetheless.

If you plan to stay overnight, check for package deals at Resort World at Sentosa, they have quotes for room plus entrance tickets to Universal Studios, SEA Aquarium and the water park. Mono rail is also free. Price was extremely affordable, for what you get – of course hotel prices are always relative, but Singapore is not cheap – and you have a very nice area around Resort World with beautiful gardens and lots of (free) exiting things to look at within walking distance; both for a child and grown-ups. We stayed at Hotel Michael, but the other 3-4 hotels in Resort World may have similar fine quotes. It's only about 20 minutes taxi ride to/from Changi airport.

:smile:

 

04)Sentosa_IMG_3758e.jpg
Resort World seen from one of the cable-car lines, with Universal at left, SEA Aquarium entrance in front, and hotels and arcades behind – and of course also Singapore's brand, the Merlion.

 

30)Water-wall_IMG_3965.jpg

The big tank in the aquarium – stated to the biggest in the World – but there are several other big and breathtaking tanks; also with dolphins. They have a special little open tank for small children, where they under guidance can touch some of the sea-animals.

 

11)Adventure-begin_IMG_3309.jpg

A magic adventure castle, "far far away"...

Edited by khunPer
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9 minutes ago, khunPer said:

If you plan to stay overnight, check for package deals at Resort World at Sentosa, they have quotes for room plus entrance tickets to Universal Studios, SEA Aquarium and the water park. Mono rail is also free. Price was extremely affordable, for what you get – of course hotel prices are always relative, but Singapore is not cheap – and you have a very nice area around Resort World with beautiful gardens and lots of (free) exiting things to look at within walking distance; both for a child and grown-ups. We stayed at Hotel Michael, but the other 3-4 hotels in Resort World may have similar fine quotes. It's only about 20 minutes taxi ride to/from Changi airport.

:smile:

 

04)Sentosa_IMG_3758e.jpg
Resort World seen from one of the cable-car lines, with Universal at left, SEA Aquarium entrance in front, and hotels and arcades behind – and of course also Singapore's brand, the Merlion.

 

30)Water-wall_IMG_3965.jpg

The big tank in the aquarium – stated to the biggest in the World – but there are several other big and breathtaking tanks; also with dolphins. They have a special little open tank for small children, where they under guidance can touch some of the sea-animals.

 

11)Adventure-begin_IMG_3309.jpg

Some magic adventure castle, "far far away"...

Thanks for the suggestions.  I'll do some research first and then decide on the itinerary.  First I want to get the document from the ampur - that will be the tallest hurdle, I expect!  Then we can choose which fun things we want to do.

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On 1/1/2017 at 11:53 PM, Dah fahrang said:

You must obtain a letter consenting to the minor travelling, from the parents (mother in particular) which must be written at, and by the local amphur for the district in which the minor resides. The parents must sign in the presence of the senior officer at the amphur, and the letter must be countersigned/attested by that same official. The stamp/seal of the amphur must be affixed.

The letter must be no more than six months old on the date travel commences, and is returned to your possession for any future travel, after passing Immigration outbound. You must also take along when you travel, a certified copy of the minor's Thai birth certificate, again signed by the parent(s) consenting to the travel, and certified by the officer at the amphur. The amphur should have both knowledge of, and experience in writing such letters.

 

Be prepared for a lengthy, in depth interview with a senior immigration official at the point of departure. In particular, they will be very interested in your relationship with the child. They are likely to want to speak to the minor's parents. This may be by phone, or, if the parents come to the airport to 'see you both off' then the immigration officer may call them to interview. Allow extra airport time for this.

 

Beware: as I presume your family name is not the same as the child with whom you are travelling, a further letter, in English is likely to be required by the airline bringing you back from Singapore, before they agree to check you both in, and board.

Sorry, I do not know what the Singapore Immigration Authorities may require. Perhaps you will post the outcome of that after your journey?

 

I have thrice now had first hand experience of your predicament. In my case, travelling from Bangkok to the UK via the middle East with my 8 year old grandson, a dual national holding both Thai and UK travel documents, and sharing the same surname.

About Singapore:  the embassy's response only mentioned the ampur travel authorization letter, which you've described already.  I wrote a second email saying that I would obtain the letter but asked (again) if the Singapore immigration officer would need any other documents.  I also asked if I needed a translation to the ampur letter.
They responded back (quickly), " It would be good if you could get the district letter translated just in case the Immigration Officer in Singapore ask about your relationship with the child. "  But you mentioned that the authorization letter doesn't actually mention the name of the accompanying person, so that won't help with showing my relationship with the child.  And they said nothing about my query about addition documents.  I hate to "assume" that there is no additional documentation needed.

When it gets closer to the travel date, I'll ask again, just to be sure.  Will keep you posted, too. 

Edited by heretostay
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4 hours ago, raro said:

Is there any paper needed if I take my daughter (Thai and German passport) for a trip abroad?

 

Most definitely.

I'm presuming your daughter is under 15 years of age, you are the father, you share the same family surname, that surname appears on both your, and the childs (two) passports? Your child will travel with you alone - not with the mother? Your child will exit Thailand on their Thai passport? If so, a letter from your local amphur, dated within six months of date of travel, written by the amphur and signed by the child's (mother) will be required, along with (mother's) signature on a copy of your daughter's Thai birth certificate, attested by the amphur.

This has become an issue because there have been incidents of divorce / marital split, and the child of the marriage being taken out of the country without the express consent of the "other" parent. The opposite of some recent stories about fahrang children "disappearing" in Thailand with their estranged parent.

 

If your daughter is departing Thailand on her German passport, and you share the same family name which appears on both German passports, then no paperwork will be needed.

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1 minute ago, raro said:

Thanks a lot, indeed, all of your assumptions are correct!

Other question... What if my daughter just leaves on her German passport? Would she be booked for overstay?

Sent from my ASUS_Z00LD using Thaivisa Connect mobile app
 

Can't say. I'm not too clever on the overstay issue. I have read on this forum that children don't get charged for overstay, but reckon that if you are leaving on your German passport, which is up to date, all Thai extensions of stay stamped in, a re-entry permit is in there for your (presumed) return, then you will get a "shed load" of grief from Immigration at the airport as to why your daughter's passport is not stamped up to date as your is!

My advice: if you are coming back to Thailand, take the amphur letter route. It is very easy to get the letter, free of charge, assuming your wife agrees to attend and will sign. Your amphur will know of this letter, and will have a pro-forma on their computer.

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Your daughter can only leave on the passport she entered Thailand with.

 

In case she never left Thailand before she can leave on the German passport with the help of her Thai birth certificate showing she was born in Thailand. But immigration will note that she is listed as Thai on the birth certificate and could ask for all the paperwork never the less.

 

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12 hours ago, raro said:

Thanks a lot, indeed, all of your assumptions are correct!

Other question... What if my daughter just leaves on her German passport? Would she be booked for overstay?

Sent from my ASUS_Z00LD using Thaivisa Connect mobile app
 

Ubon Joe always tell that there is no overstay for children, under 12 I think...
However, the best way to do this, is to let your daughter leave Thailand on her Thai passport, and use the German passport when entering countries where a Thai nationality requires a Visa – that's hos most folk with dual-nationality kids does it – when returning to Thailand re-enter on the Thai passport, of course.

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None of my business what you do, but the rule concerning people with more than one passport in most countries is to show the passport of the country you are entering/leaving in the country you are entering/leaving.  So a Thai/German would show the Thai passport at BKK and the German passport in Germany.  (The airline will want to see both, but that's a different story.  In this case, there will be no Thai visa in the German passport, so they need to see the Thai passport, which demonstrate that the passenger can get through Thai passport control.)

This makes sense.  Why would you hide your Thai nationality from the Thai authorities when entering Thailand.  And why go through all the paperwork and expense for a visa in the German passport???

Just my two cents.

 

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