Own passports for children under twelve

Children younger than twelve must have their own passports when travelling, as of April 1. From that date, it will no longer be possible for children to travel on the passports of their parents, not even when they have been included in their parents’ passports, Government Service Caribbean Netherlands RCN said in a statement Monday. This is published in The Daily Herald. As of the October 10, 2010, transition, the Royal Dutch Marechaussee has allowed Dutch citizens from the Caribbean Netherlands to travel with their children to other countries within the Caribbean without the children having a valid travel document, such as a passport or identity card (ID). Because of international obligations and the Law Admission and Expulsion BES, all travellers need to have a valid travel document with them. Also due to the increased issuing of emergency passports for travel outside the former Netherlands Antilles, it has been decided to abolish the policy of tolerance as per April 1.

Exception to the Admission and Expulsion Law is that Dutch citizens from the Caribbean Netherlands are allowed to travel with an ID within the Caribbean Netherlands. However, the Law on Identity Cards BES stipulates that an ID-card is only granted to persons older than 12. In practice, this means that everyone needs a valid passport as per April 1, including children younger than 12 years.

Since a passport is relatively expensive, and on account of the current financial situation in the Caribbean Netherlands, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Immigration and Naturalisation Service Caribbean Netherlands IND-CN and the Marechaussee have joined forces and have decided to grant minors, who were younger than 12 in January 2015, an exemption of fees for the acquisition of their first passport.

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