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Explainer: When does a child need ‘permission form’ to leave France?

We look at France’s autorisation de sortie du territoire and how to get one

Minors travelling along normally need an autorisation de sortie du territoire in order to leave the country Pic: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

If your child is due to travel outside of French territory without you this summer, there are some formalities which you should bear in mind. 

Since 2017, all minors – under-18s – who live in France must carry with them an autorisation de sortie du territoire (authorisation to leave the country or AST) document when they travel abroad alone or without at least one of the people who has parental authority over them. 

These include the child’s parents or someone who has been given responsibility for them by a court. 

This document is needed, therefore, for children travelling with grandparents.

It is obligatory whether it concerns a solo journey, such as a language exchange programme or a group journey, such as a school trip.

The AST requirement also applies to foreign children who are transiting through France and French children who normally live abroad and who are leaving France to return to their country of residence. 

Exceptions 

Minors leaving metropolitan France to go to an overseas territory do not need an AST unless their flight involves a stopover in another country.

A mineur émancipé – a minor who is no longer legally under the authority of their parents, for example, because they are married – do not need to present an AST but must carry with them the judgement declaring that they are ‘emancipated’, or their marriage certificate if appropriate.

How do I get an AST? 

You do not need to go to your local mairie or prefecture in order to obtain an autorisation de sortie du territoire but can visit the government website and fill in the Cerfa no15646*01 form that you will find there. 

It takes a few minutes to complete the form and will be asked for information including:

  • the child’s name, date and place of birth

  • your name, date and place of birth, address, email address and telephone number

  • your relation to the child 

  • your signature 

  • a copy of your ID  

The AST will last for one year beyond the date of your signature. 

When must the child show their AST? 

A minor must show the original AST form to border control officers along with their: 

  • passport

  • visa if applicable 

  • a photocopy of the ID of the person who signed the form. This document must be valid or have expired less than five years ago

Related articles 

Under what circumstances do you need to validate a French visa?

Does my US relative need attestation d’accueil to visit me in France?

What are the latest Covid rules for teenagers travelling to France?

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