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If US citizen child has relocated abroad, with his/her non US-citizen parents.

Minor wants to visit US and return back to his/her parents.

1) Is there an age limit to travel alone eg: should be above 10 years atleast ?

2) What letter should parents provide to airline/us-govt to ensure parents approval for travel?

Note: minor wants to return back to parents

3) Is minor allowed to leave US soil ?

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1) Is there an age limit to travel alone eg: should be above 10 years atleast ?

No. Young children will need to be in the company of a responsible adult. Older children can travel alone, although airlines require children in a certain age range to use the "unaccompanied minor" service in that case. The details and the specific range of age varies from one airline to another.

2) What letter should parents provide to airline/us-govt to ensure parents approval for travel?

This will depend on the airline, on the country the child is traveling from and to, and on the transit countries, if any. As far as the US government is concerned, a simple letter of permission should be sufficient. It may help if the letter is notarized. The airline or the other countries may have stricter requirements.

3) Is minor allowed to leave US soil ?

Of course. As long as it can be established that the child is traveling with the permission of the parents, and especially if the child is traveling to join the parents, there will be no problem leaving the US. This assumes that the child has permission to be in the country where the parents reside, of course. If the child is not a citizen of that country, it may be necessary to show a visa or residence permit to the airline before the airline will allow the child to board the plane. The details vary depending on the country in question.

  • (a) What is the age when child is allowed to travel alone ? (b) Can letter be notarized from abroad (non-us country) ? Thanks for all answers. – JavaDeveloper Aug 27 at 18:53
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    Every airline has a different policy for unaccompanied minors. For some airlines, that's just "no unaccompanied minors below X years of age." Others will fly unaccompanied minors according to their policy, which will have a minimum age (and a maximum age above which they don't care), a fee, and limitations (some may not allow international travel or connections or have other restrictions). You'd have to research the airline's policy along with the rules for the destination country and any transit countries in-route. You also have to know your child and how they'd handle the flight alone. – Zach Lipton Aug 27 at 19:17
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    @ZachLipton indeed. I checked some policies several months ago for another question here. They had some common features: Children below a certain age (5 or so, I think) could not fly unaccompanied. Children between that age and another age (perhaps around 13, give or take a year, but I don't remember) could but were required to use the unaccompanied minor service. Children above that age could fly without the service, but some airlines offered it as an option (at least one did not). I do not remember whether the age thresholds varied, but I think they did. – phoog Aug 27 at 19:22
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    Moreover, the minimum age may be higher if a connecting flight is required. – Andrew Lazarus Aug 28 at 3:11

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