Hungary: Requirements and procedures for a child to leave the country with one parent (2013-June 2015) [HUN105198.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

According to Annex VII of the Schengen Borders Code, regarding minors traveling within the Schengen region, border police are responsible for verifying that the individual traveling with the child has parental care over them, especially when the child is accompanied by only one adult, as such a situation raises concerns over the unlawful removal from custody by one of the parents (EU 2006, Annex VII, Sec. 6). In such a case, border guards are responsible for investigating the situation to identify inconsistencies in any information or statements provided by the travelers (ibid.).

The information in the following paragraph was provided by a group leader of the border police at the Budapest Airport, during telephone interviews with the Research Directorate (Hungary 13 June 2015; ibid. 9 June 2015). When a child is traveling with only one parent, that parent must provide the border police with written permission from the non-traveling parent, although there is no official template for the document (ibid.). The authorization from the non-traveling parent must include the non-traveling parent's name and signature, as well as a statement authorizing the child to travel with the other parent (ibid.). If the document is handwritten and signed by the non-traveling parent, further information is not required (ibid. 13 June 2015). However, if the letter is not handwritten, the authorization document must include the signature of two witnesses (ibid.). Each witness must provide their full name, birth date, address and birth place, as stated on their identification card, as well as their signatures (ibid.). If the parent traveling with the child does not share the same surname as the child, the parent must provide the child's birth certificate in order to prove their parental relationship (ibid. 9 June 2015). The parent and child cannot leave the country unless the aforementioned documentation is provided to the border police (ibid.). The group leader of the border police stated that the same verification procedures are conducted when leaving Hungary by all modes of transportation, including by car (ibid. 13 June 2015). He stated that in any case, "the basic rules are the same but practice might be slightly different" (ibid.). The group leader added that when traveling within the Schengen region, the parent and child should carry the same documents with them, as individuals traveling within the area could be randomly checked and asked for this documentation (ibid.).

Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

In contrast, a report by the Terre des hommes foundation [1] on human trafficking of minors, which provides a comparative perspective of some EU countries' requirements of an affidavit for children traveling abroad, indicates that "Hungary requires an affidavit only when the child is establishing residence abroad - The consent of both parents is required for the child’s residence abroad for any extendedperiod of time for the purpose of studies or work" [emphasis in original] (Terre des hommes Jan. 2015, 19). The report notes that the minimal duration of the residence abroad is not specified (ibid.). According to the report, the affidavit is described as "a document signed by the parent/s of the child before a public notary and which expresses the consent of one or both of the parents in respect to their child travelling abroad" (ibid., 3).

Although, according to the same source, temporary travel of the child does not require the consent of both parents, a consent letter is recommended by the Hungarian Consular Service (ibid., 19). Sources indicate that the consent letter must contain the child's personal information, the name and place of birth of the accompanying person and of the parents, the identification number of the child's travel document, the purpose of travel, the location in which the child is staying, and the name and contact information of the visited person or institute (ibid., 19; Hungary n.d.). According to the Terre des hommes report, certification by a public notary is not required for the consent letter (Jan. 2015, 19). Furthermore, the website of the Hungarian police indicates that there is no EU standard form for the parents’ declaration of consent (Hungary n.d.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Note

[1] Terre des hommes is a Swiss "registered foundation" focused on healthcare and child protection (Terre des hommes n.d.).

References

European Union (EU). 2006. Regulation (Ec) No562/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 Establishing a Community Code on the Rules Governing the Movement of Persons Across Borders (Schengen Borders Code).Official Journal of the European Union. <http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:105:0001:0032:EN:PDF%20> [Accessed 4 June 2015]

Hungary. 13 June 2015. Budapest Airport Border Police. Telephone interview with a group leader.

_____. 9 June 2015. Budapest Airport Border Police. Telephone interview with a group leader.

_____. N.d. Hungarian Police. "Minors Wishing to Travel Abroad." <http://www.police.hu/english/border-information/minors-wishing-to-travel-abroad> [Accessed 15 June 2015]

Terre des hommes . January 2015. Entrusted Children: A Study on the Legal Requirements and Procedures Concerning the Exit and Re-entry of Romanian Minors in the Context of Human Trafficking: The Role of Public Notaries.<http://terredeshommes.hu/upload/document/7233/ICARUS%20Research%20study-%20Entrusted%20children.pdf> [Accessed 4 June 2015]

_____. N.d. "About Us." <http://www.terredeshommes.hu/about-us> [Accessed 4 June 2015]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources:The following were unable to provide information for this Response: International Organization for Migration – Budapest.

The following were unable to provide information within the time constraints of this Response: Hungary – Embassy of the Republic of Hungary in Ottawa.

Attempts to contact the following were unsuccessful within the time constraints of this Response: Bátki Pál Law Office; Dr. Illés Blanka Law Firm; Hungary – Honorary Consulate in Boston, Consular Services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Lufthansa Airline.

Internet sites, including:EU – European Commission; Hungary – Consular Services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassy in London, Embassy in New York; Lufthansa Airline.