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Paperwork for minor

Vail, Colorado
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12 posts
217 reviews
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Paperwork for minor

I read a lot about Belize on many web sites while planning our trip. I did not see the policy about minors entering Belize and the paperwork required if not accompanied by both parents posted anywhere. I thought it would be helpful to add to this forum.

We were turned back in Houston and not allowed to enter Belize.

We were traveling with mother, grandmother and child. Father not on trip.

We were able to get the notarized, certified document but the gate agent still refused us entry because the document was drawn up outside the US by a lawyer in Zambia and the wording did not satisfy him.

We can understand as child trafficking is real and apparently Belize is a hot spot.

We’ve also encountered this in South Africa where I’ve traveled with my grandson with the same document and gained entry.

Also I took my grandson on a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas and used the same document.

Out Belize Travel agent never mentioned anything to us but clearly knew our group did not include the father. Nor did the hotels mention anything. Or any tours I booked. All of which knew we were two ladies and 1 child.

Disney and South Africa make regulations VERY VERY clear well before hand.

I’m not sure we could have avoided this any way because it was more a matter of one gate agent not liking the wording on the document. But if I’d read what could happen I might have had a US lawyer look the document over? Not sure. But ultimately I will probably get very little of my money back as everywhere in Belize has at least 2 week cancellation policies and not a single property or person I’ve contacted has shown any sympathy or offered any help. This happened yesterday so I can’t say for sure. Can you imagine traveling to a dream vacation with a 7 year old and being turned away and spending 13 hours instead in planes and airport going no where?

he finally broke down at 6pm after a day that started at 3:30am.

20 replies to this topic
Unitedville, Belize
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213 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: Paperwork for minor

Belize, along with many other countries, is signatory/party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

I'm sure this was very hard on you, and I'm sorry it happened, the rules are very strict. Father needs to sign a letter, and the letter needs to be notarized.

If you feel that the gate agent took the liberty to not like the wording on your documents, and you think that your documents were what is required, you should most definitely take that up with the appropriate airline.

Maybe you just got lucky with the Disney cruise.

I think the onus for proper documentation is on the parent, not on the country to be visited, a travel agent and most certainly not on any hotel or tour operator.

belize
Destination Expert
for Belize, Placencia, Ambergris Caye, Cayo, San Ignacio
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7,454 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Paperwork for minor

I understand how you must be feeling right now. I think your gripe is at the source-the airline. Some agents and hotels in Belize do note this law on their sites or invoicing. But I do not understand why the airline doesn't.

Ambergris Caye
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for San Ignacio, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
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2,727 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Paperwork for minor

Sorry that happened and that businesses are being unsympathetic. Perhaps once things settle briefly the properties you were booked with woud be willing to make some sort of compromise and allow you to come back. I hope posting your story helps a few people.

Vail, Colorado
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12 posts
217 reviews
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4. Re: Paperwork for minor

Update: I had purchased trip insurance however this instance is not covered!! I’m still submitting but expect to be denied.

I had insured with Travel Insured World Wide Trip Protector.

United did refund every penny with no hassle.

Ramons also refunded everything also no hassle.

San Ignacio Hotel refunded half.

Creative Tours Belize ZERO refund.

I just want to reiterate that we had a notarized signed legal document. It was totally the call of the Houston gate agent who did not like the wording.

I would also suggest to Belize tourism to take a look at South Africa and implement their protocol for entry with minors which is stated frequently and everywhere and by everyone you interact with.

Also as a foot note: I read 2 books about Belize inc Fodors, plus looked at this Forum often as well as googling Belize for Chidren, etc. I do not remember ever seeing this mentioned.

why not implement warnings? There is nothing wrong with this regulation as long as travelers know about it.

Greenville, South...
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52 posts
12 reviews
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5. Re: Paperwork for minor

Sorry about your missed trip but it does show the level of customer service for United and Ramons. Not so much for the others.....

Sacramento
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41 posts
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6. Re: Paperwork for minor

I'm so glad I read your post. Our friend is bringing his 2 minor boys on a trip with our family in July and I had no idea this was an issue,

Do you know where I can find the exact language he will need to have signed by the children's mother? Its not even on the state dept website.

Thank you and I am so sorry this happened. What a huge disappointment for you all, especially your child.

Papillion, Nebraska
2 posts
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7. Re: Paperwork for minor

https:/…Internationa

l-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Belize.html

Papillion, Nebraska
2 posts
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8. Re: Paperwork for minor

This is from Travel.State.Gov for Belize;

"Traveling with Minors: If you are traveling with children, you may be asked by immigration officials to show U.S. birth certificates for each child. When children are not traveling with both parents, immigration officials often request documentation to establish the children are traveling with the permission of both parents. Such documentation may include notarized letters from the parent(s), custody or adoption papers, or death certificates in situations where one or both parents are deceased."

Edited: 17 May 2018, 03:41
Ambergris Caye
Destination Expert
for San Ignacio, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
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2,727 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Paperwork for minor

DTen so glad you were able to recover some funds. I agree with you this info needs to be out there more.

Sacramento
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41 posts
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10. Re: Paperwork for minor

thank you!

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