Visas for Minors Under 18
On this page:
Please note that in accordance with U.S. law, applicants older than 18 are considered adults. For applicants between the ages of 18 and 21, it is not required that the parents be present for the visa interview.
Every visa applicant under 18 years of age and single must meet with the following basic requirements (in addition to the documentation necessary for the type of visa they are requesting), whether they are applying for the first time or renewing:
Requirements for Minors (under 18)
- Present their Original Birth Certificate.
- Be accompanied by both of their biological parents for the interview.
- If it is impossible for one or both parents to be present during the interview, the following guidelines apply (whether it is for medical reasons, death, being abroad, etc.):
- If either father/mother are not listed on the Birth Certificate – no additional documentation is necessary, only that the parent listed on the Birth Certificate be present.
- If either father/mother are deceased – the parent/adult that accompanies the minor to the interview must present the original Death Certificates for the deceased.
- If only one of the parents can attend the interview – the adult accompanying the minor must bring one of the following documents:
- An Official Custody Document issued by a Honduran Judge/Court (known as Patria Potestad in Honduras), or
- An authorization letter notarized by a Honduran Embassy or Consulate abroad, signed by the absent parent.
- If the absent parent is not Honduran, bring an authorization letter issued by the relevant governmental authority of the parent’s country of origin.
*Important Notice*: No other document will be accepted, if one/both parents cannot be present. We will not accept notarized letters of any other kind, lawyer’s letters, nor any other document, no matter how official they may seem. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this requirement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My child is renewing his/her visa and has traveled to the U.S. before. Do they still need to meet the regular requirements for minors?
A: Yes. All minors must meet the above requirements, including the Original Birth Certificate and the presence of both parents for the interview (or one of the two forms of documentation necessary to justify their absence).
Q: When we interviewed last time, they did not ask us for a Patria Potestad/Custody Document, but we still got our visa. Do we have to bring all the documentation this time?
A: Yes. Regulations and requirements for a United States visa change occasionally. We understand that changes can create confusion, but it is necessary to meet with all of the current requirements. Currently, these include all the requirements listed on this page.
Q: I do not have a Patria Potestad/Custody Document, but I am in the process of getting it. Can I apply for a visa with a minor using another type of notarized letter in the mean time?
A: No. We understand that the process of acquiring a Patria Potestad can be slow and tedious, but unfortunately we cannot make exceptions to requirements for minors in these cases. Unless the absent parent is abroad and can get an Authorization letter from a Honduran Embassy/Consulate, we cannot accept any other kind of document, no matter how official.
Q: The father/mother is ill/incapacitated and cannot come to the interview. Can I attend the interview with my child alone?
A: No. We understand that medical emergencies happen, but unfortunately we cannot make exceptions to requirements for minors even in case of a medical emergency. If necessary, you can reschedule your appointment so that both parents can come to the interview, or get the necessary documentation to justify the absence (Patria Potestad/Custody Document, Authorization letter notarized by a Honduran Embassy/Consulate).
Q: The child has been living with me since he/she was a baby, and the biological parents cannot be located. What should I bring to the interview?
A: You must bring the child’s Original Birth Certificate, and a Patria Potestad/Custody Document issued by a Honduran Judge/Court, granting legal custody of the child to you. We understand that this process can be difficult and complex, but we cannot accept any other kind of documentation.
Q: We are requesting a visa for a minor, but the child’s parents are also under 18 years of age. Who has to come to the interview?
A: Only minors who are legally married (common-law-marriage or ‘unión libre’ does not qualify) are considered adults for the purposes of applying for a visa. As such if the parents are not married, the child and both parents must bring their Original Birth Certificates and meet all other requirements listed on this page.