Travel to Ireland with a child under 18


The following is intended to provide practical information which you may find useful when travelling to Ireland with a child under 18 years in your care.


Travelling with a minor who is not your child / has a different surname:

Immigration Officers may ask questions to establish the identity of persons presenting at Immigration Control. In the case where a minor is accompanied by an adult with a different surname or by a person who is not his/her parent, the Officer may seek to determine the relationship between the minor and accompanying adult. It is important to note that in a situation where a child is travelling with one parent only, an Immigration Officer may seek evidence of consent from the child’s other parent.

You may be asked by an Immigration Officer at the Immigration Control to prove the relationship between yourself and any children travelling with you, if you do not seem to be the parent e.g. if you have a different surname.

If you have the following documentation for presentation to an Immigration Officer it will assist with such enquiries.

  • A letter from the child’s parent(s)/guardian giving consent for travel with you and providing his/her contact details;
  • An original or copy of a birth or adoption certificate showing your relationship with the child;
  • Marriage / Divorce Certificate if you are the child’s parent but have a different surname to the child.
  • A death certificate in the case of a deceased parent.

An Immigration Officer may also seek to establish the relationship between an unaccompanied minor and any adult meeting the child on arrival at an airport, before permitting the child to enter the State.

These routine enquiries are in place to protect vulnerable children and those who may potentially be trafficked into the State. Carrying relevant documentation to support your particular circumstances will ensure that your experience through Immigration Control will be as fast and efficient as possible.


Groups travelling with Minors (e.g. school tour groups):

It is recommended that groups organise themselves as follows when presenting to Immigration Control on arrival:

  • Groups consisting of both adults and minors should gather in the Immigration Hall in advance of presentation to an Immigration Officer;
  • The accompanying adult is advised to present to the Immigration Officer first, providing the following documentation:
  1. A list of all members in the group;
  2. Letters of consent for travel with the nominated adult from each minor’s parent(s)/guardian(s), including contact details;
  • At the airport, the group leader is advised to make themselves known to a member of staff in the Immigration Hall, if available.


It is advisable that a minor presents to an Immigration Officer as part of their family unit or group and not individually. In circumstances where concerns emerge or remain in relation to the welfare of any children, Immigration officers will refer such children to TUSLA, the statutory agency responsible for the welfare of children.

Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service (INIS)
Department of Justice and Equality

03 June 2016