Minors traveling abroad are regulated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to prevent child trafficking and ensure the smooth travel of minors abroad. To efficiently regulate minors traveling abroad (MTA), DSWD issued Administrative Order No. 12 or the Omnibus Guideline for Minors Travelling Abroad of 2017.
Accordingly, minors traveling abroad are required to secure a travel clearance with the DSWD except the following:
- A minor accompanied by the following:
- Either or both the minor’s parents, if the minor is legitimate;
- The minor’s biological mother if the minor is illegitimate;
- The minor’s father who has been granted sole parental authority or custody by the proper court, if the minor is illegitimate;
- The minor’s legal guardian;
- The person, including one of the minor’s parents, was granted sole parental authority or legal custody by the property court, in which case the court decision should specifically include a statement to this effect, i.e., naming the person to whom sole parental authority or legal custody over the minor has been granted.
- Minor’s adoptive parents if the minor is granted with adoption decree & Certificate of Finality.
- A minor who is an immigrant or a permanent resident abroad with foreign passport, or whose parents are in the foreign service holding diplomatic/official passport such as Ambassador/General Consul/Consul/ Attaches, provided he/she is holding a valid passport such as dependent visa/identification card which serves as proof that the travel does not constitute child trafficking.
In any case, if the illegitimate child secures a travel clearance with the DSWD, a certificate of no marriage (CENOMAR) of his biological mother from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is required.
Minors whose parents are in an on-going custody battle
When there is a pending custody battle between the minor’s parents before the court and the child is set to travel abroad, a travel clearance is required to be issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) after a court order allowing the minor to travel with the said parent.
If the minor’s custody is given to the father, the mother must secure a travel clearance with the DSWD before traveling abroad.
DSWD Requirements for Travel Clearance
The application for travel clearance is filed with the DSWD Field Office. Application forms are available in all DSWD Field Offices or may be downloaded at the DSWD website www.dswd.gov.ph. The documents required for each child vary depending on the child’s circumstance.
For minors traveling for the first time with a person other than the parents or legal guardian, the requirements are as follows:
- Duly accomplished DSWD Travel Clearance Application Form;
- A photocopy of birth certificate of the minor;
- A written consent of both parents or the solo parent or the legal guardian permitting the minor to travel to a foreign country with a specific person other than them.
- As appropriate, a photocopy of the marriage certificate of the minor’s parents or a certificate of legal guardianship of the minor or in the case of solo parents, a solo parent identification card from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office or a certification from the Local Social Welfare and Development Office of being a solo parent or a court decree of separation, annulment or divorce, or Tallaq or Fasakh certification from the Shariah court or any muslim barangay or religious leader or in the case of an illegitimate minor, a certificate of no marriage (CENOMAR) from the PSA.
- Two colored passport photos of the minor taken within the last 6 months.
Need further information and assistance? Talk to our Legal team at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law to know more about the requirements and process. Call us today at (+632) 8478 5826 or send an email to [email protected] for more information.