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Old 19.01.2015, 18:18
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Different surname on passport for mother and children

Hello,


I am planning a trip back to the USA with my Swiss little ones. For various reasons I have decided not to register them for US citizenship despite me being a citizen myself. So what we have is a blue passport (myself) on one name, with red passport minors of a different family name. Their father will not be travelling with us. I have not updated my American paperwork to include my children born abroad (however their Swiss paperwork is up to date, of course.)


My question is, will I need to bring any proof of being their parent while travelling? And if so, what kind of papers would I need? Or who can I speak to to be sure. I would be curious to hear if anyone here has experience doing anything similar.


Thanks in advance,
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Old 19.01.2015, 18:26
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

Copy of their birth certificates should be enough to link you to the child, and if you are not travelling with both parents, our kids travel with a signed letter from the other parent/s (sometimes they travel with their grandparents) stating their rough travel plans and giving all the contact information for the parents - we figure if they question anything they can always contact us to verify.

Generally, if the children do not have blocks placed on their passports, and they are travelling with a mother with the same surname, there is not much problem, but some countries have issues if the mother does not have the same surname, or they are travelling with someone unrelated...

However, one more thing, if you are a citizen of a country, you are expected to enter and exit that country with the matching passport. So you leave Switzerland to enter the USA with US passport, but re-enter Switzerland with Swiss passport. So you need to travel with both, and declare both. If you also hold residency cards, you should present those as well to passport control. If you are not sure what is needed, smile politely and explain you haven't done this before, but your kids are dual US/Swiss/whatever citizens and so you have all their documents, which document is the correct one needed?.... usually that works better than 'ooops, wrong one'...

I wonder if there is an obligation to register/update your children's status with the US authorities - I would clarify that before you travel - fine if it's 'optional' but it could cause some hassles if it's required...
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Old 19.01.2015, 18:38
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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Copy of their birth certificates should be enough to link you to the child, and if you are not travelling with both parents, our kids travel with a signed letter from the other parent/s (sometimes they travel with their grandparents) stating their rough travel plans and giving all the contact information for the parents - we figure if they question anything they can always contact us to verify.

Generally, if the children do not have blocks placed on their passports, and they are travelling with a mother with the same surname, there is not much problem, but some countries have issues if the mother does not have the same surname, or they are travelling with someone unrelated...

However, one more thing, if you are a citizen of a country, you are expected to enter and exit that country with the matching passport. So you leave Switzerland to enter the USA with US passport, but re-enter Switzerland with Swiss passport. So you need to travel with both, and declare both. If you also hold residency cards, you should present those as well to passport control. If you are not sure what is needed, smile politely and explain you haven't done this before, but your kids are dual US/Swiss/whatever citizens and so you have all their documents, which document is the correct one needed?.... usually that works better than 'ooops, wrong one'...

I wonder if there is an obligation to register/update your children's status with the US authorities - I would clarify that before you travel - fine if it's 'optional' but it could cause some hassles if it's required...
I am not sure that all of the above is vaild in this situation. PM is a US citizen. The children are not (they are CH only - unless born in the USA or registered by the parent - nothing mentioned so far).

I am assuming for my comments that they are not USA. I understand that if my assumptions above are correct, that they will have to decide/apply for USA citizenship before their 18th or 20th birthday (not sure which). That is another issue. You just want to make sure the American Immigration do not consider them American.

All of that is to say that as an American, PM must enter/exit the USA on a USA passport. If the kids are CH only, they can enter/exit on the CH passports.

As swisspea mentioned, you will need a copy of each of the birth certificates to prove the family link. Your marriage certificate would be good as well.

MORE IMPORTANTLY is the paperwork proving the husband gives you permission to travel ALONE with the kids. All Immigration services are very sensitive to this issue these days. To do this you need (preferably colour) a copy of his passport details along with a handwritten or typed blah blah on the travel dates and to/from as well as his SIGNATURE - that matches perfectly the signature style he used on the passport (i.e. full first name or just initials etc). They will check these two signature and they MUST match.
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Old 19.01.2015, 19:02
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

Letters and the such like are pretty worthless these days. With $50 software you can make any letter, signature and stamp you want, with or without smudges, coffee stains or greasy thumb prints !

It's a bit like travelling with a doctors' letter or X-ray photos; whats to say it concerns you and is a photo of your bones, but more to the point, with security as it is today, anybody can get any document or photo, Ben Laden included.

A child instinctively knows his mother and a clear bond is relatively easy to see and establish.

My wife uses here name and my daughter has my name, they both run on Swiss passports and we never had any problems when they travel together without me.
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Old 19.01.2015, 19:32
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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I am not sure that all of the above is vaild in this situation. PM is a US citizen. The children are not (they are CH only - unless born in the USA or registered by the parent - nothing mentioned so far).
Actually, it's doesn't matter if they are registered or not, if the mother has spent the required time in the US, they are US citizens, and should be travelling with US passports.

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So you leave Switzerland to enter the USA with US passport, but re-enter Switzerland with Swiss passport.
Or ID card, that's what my daughter who lives in LA does, and what I did when I still had the blue book.

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MORE IMPORTANTLY is the paperwork proving the husband gives you permission to travel ALONE with the kids. All Immigration services are very sensitive to this issue these days. To do this you need (preferably colour) a copy of his passport details along with a handwritten or typed blah blah on the travel dates and to/from as well as his SIGNATURE - that matches perfectly the signature style he used on the passport (i.e. full first name or just initials etc). They will check these two signature and they MUST match.
Get it notarized and apostillaed as well.

Tom
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Old 19.01.2015, 20:05
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

That all sounds far simpler than changing your name when you get married
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Old 19.01.2015, 20:15
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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Letters and the such like are pretty worthless these days. With $50 software you can make any letter, signature and stamp you want, with or without smudges, coffee stains or greasy thumb prints !

It's a bit like travelling with a doctors' letter or X-ray photos; whats to say it concerns you and is a photo of your bones, but more to the point, with security as it is today, anybody can get any document or photo, Ben Laden included.

A child instinctively knows his mother and a clear bond is relatively easy to see and establish.

My wife uses here name and my daughter has my name, they both run on Swiss passports and we never had any problems when they travel together without me.
The issue in not if the child knows the parent, it is if the parent has the RIGHT (permission of the other parent) to travel with the child.
Due to the increasing incidents of child abductions in disputed custody cases and as possible victims of child pornography, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly recommends that unless the child is accompanied by both parents, the adult have a note from the child's other parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with grandparents, uncles or aunts, sisters or brothers, friends, or in groups*, a note signed by both parents) stating "I acknowledge that my wife/husband/etc. is traveling out of the country with my son/daughter/group. He/She/They has/have my permission to do so."
Source: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...ot-a-parent-or
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Old 19.01.2015, 21:22
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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Get it notarized and apostillaed as well.

Tom
Bet Ben Laden never thought of this.....maybe i should go for the $75 software package after all
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Old 19.01.2015, 21:32
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

When my girlfriend travels with our daughter (who has my surname) the people at passport control normal asks her a couple of quick questions. The most common ones being "Is this your mum?" or "Who is that lady?"

I find it quite reassuring

spright
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Old 19.01.2015, 22:55
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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Hello,


I am planning a trip back to the USA with my Swiss little ones. For various reasons I have decided not to register them for US citizenship despite me being a citizen myself. So what we have is a blue passport (myself) on one name, with red passport minors of a different family name. Their father will not be travelling with us. I have not updated my American paperwork to include my children born abroad (however their Swiss paperwork is up to date, of course.)


My question is, will I need to bring any proof of being their parent while travelling? And if so, what kind of papers would I need? Or who can I speak to to be sure. I would be curious to hear if anyone here has experience doing anything similar.


Thanks in advance,
'We' have had this discussion several times before; some of us think you are perfectly entitled to travel with your own children without the need for an letter to teacher giving permission, others think you need to provide certificates, letters, proof of ownership, etc.

It really would be best to ask the relevant country's border authority, especially as the US is probably the most nervous in this department. Members here have had differing experiences, go to the source and simply ask them.
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Old 19.01.2015, 23:49
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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Hello,


I am planning a trip back to the USA with my Swiss little ones. For various reasons I have decided not to register them for US citizenship despite me being a citizen myself. So what we have is a blue passport (myself) on one name, with red passport minors of a different family name. Their father will not be travelling with us. I have not updated my American paperwork to include my children born abroad (however their Swiss paperwork is up to date, of course.)


My question is, will I need to bring any proof of being their parent while travelling? And if so, what kind of papers would I need? Or who can I speak to to be sure. I would be curious to hear if anyone here has experience doing anything similar.


Thanks in advance,
I'm Canadian, and have travelled alone with my Swiss daughter, so we have different passports. I imagine it's pretty similar to US border control (actually the Americans are usually nicer to me than the Canadians). We do have the same name.

I travel with a letter from my husband (and he sooooo relishes being able to grant me permission to travel with my own daughter), my daughter's birth certificate, and my family certificate just in case. I've always been asked for the letter. I've never needed a copy of my husband's passport, but it's not a bad idea to have one in the file as well. I'm kind of dreading the age when my daughter is asked who I am, as she will be more likely than not to think it's a game and say something crazy...

I've never been asked why she doesn't have a Canadian passport, because and she won't even be a citizen until we claim it for her and then wait a year or two. I'll probably be Swiss before she's Canadian come to think of it...
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Old 19.01.2015, 23:54
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

Thank you for all the helpful replies.


Just to clarify, my children are not entitled to US citizenship even if I chose to apply (I have looked in to this). For the time being they are of Swiss nationality alone which is fine with me.




So to summarize, I would need:
1. copy of birth certificates, and/or marriage license
2. copy of husband's passport along with a signed and notarized letter stating he is aware of my travel plans and gives his consent.


Is that correct?
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Old 19.01.2015, 23:57
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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I've never been asked why she doesn't have a Canadian passport, because and she won't even be a citizen until we claim it for her and then wait a year or two. I'll probably be Swiss before she's Canadian come to think of it...
My kids were US, Canadian, and Swiss at birth (born here).

Tom
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Old 19.01.2015, 23:57
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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Hello,


I am planning a trip back to the USA with my Swiss little ones. For various reasons I have decided not to register them for US citizenship despite me being a citizen myself. So what we have is a blue passport (myself) on one name, with red passport minors of a different family name. Their father will not be travelling with us. I have not updated my American paperwork to include my children born abroad (however their Swiss paperwork is up to date, of course.)


My question is, will I need to bring any proof of being their parent while travelling? And if so, what kind of papers would I need? Or who can I speak to to be sure. I would be curious to hear if anyone here has experience doing anything similar.


Thanks in advance,

Yes! If you don`t want any trouble and a letter from your husband just in case


I see I am late ! Your daughter needs a Visa me thinks :-) and make sure her hands are clean for fingerprinting :-)


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Old 20.01.2015, 00:07
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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Yes! If you don`t want any trouble and a letter from your husband just in case


I see I am late ! Your daughter needs a Visa me thinks :-) and make sure her hands are clean for fingerprinting :-)

No visa. We have filled out the ESTA forms.

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My kids were US, Canadian, and Swiss at birth (born here).

Tom
I left abroad in my early teens so would only be able to transfer citizenship if my husband was a US citizen as well.
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Old 20.01.2015, 00:16
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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Thank you for all the helpful replies.


Just to clarify, my children are not entitled to US citizenship even if I chose to apply (I have looked in to this). For the time being they are of Swiss nationality alone which is fine with me.




So to summarize, I would need:
1. copy of birth certificates, and/or marriage license
2. copy of husband's passport along with a signed and notarized letter stating he is aware of my travel plans and gives his consent.


Is that correct?

I would say yes to the marriage license as it together with the birth certificates ties you, the kids and the husband together.

The US is not asking for a notarized letter, but it is recommended.
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Old 20.01.2015, 00:23
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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I am not sure that all of the above is vaild in this situation. PM is a US citizen. The children are not (they are CH only - unless born in the USA or registered by the parent - nothing mentioned so far).

I am assuming for my comments that they are not USA. I understand that if my assumptions above are correct, that they will have to decide/apply for USA citizenship before their 18th or 20th birthday (not sure which). That is another issue. You just want to make sure the American Immigration do not consider them American.
I don't know where you heard that, but please do not continue spreading false information. Many people have been caught out by this, especially for US tax purposes.

The US code regarding whether a person is a US citizen at birth is here. It is very possible for a child born outside of the US to be a US citizen at birth, in particular, (g) can surprise people. There is nothing in that section of the US code about registration or birthdays. If a child meets the requirements at birth they are born a citizen and remain a citizen until they renounce or take up a new citizenship with an intent to give up their US citizenship.

The OP states that she has looked into whether they are US citizens, and I'm willing to believe her when she says they are not. But it is not as simple as you state, and if they are citizens, they can be required to enter the US with a US passport. (Link here, section (b)).
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Old 20.01.2015, 08:23
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Re: Different surname on passport for mother and children

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I left abroad in my early teens so would only be able to transfer citizenship if my husband was a US citizen as well.
Or if you were to move back for a couple years (before they turn 18).

Tom
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