With the school summer holidays almost upon us, parents are being warned about a little-known passport rule that could scupper their much-needed getaway.
While planning a family break can be stressful, there can be nothing worse than being unable to travel because you’ve overlooked a piece of vital documentation.
The rule applies to people travelling with children who do not share the same surname as their parents – which can prompt a border official to question whether the youngster truly is their own.
Mothers and fathers have been warned they may be stopped at the airport if their children have a different surname to them (File image)
In the worst case scenario, the holiday may have to be put on hold if parents are unable to provide proof.
And, while proof will only be demanded in some cases, parents could be asked to provide documents like birth certificates to prove the relationship is genuine.
The strict rules are about protecting youngsters from child trafficking and child abduction.
While it is common, two passports of people from the same family with different surnames may raise concerns at border control under Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.
The law specifically requires the Home Office to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK.
So, if you are travelling with children, and you are named on the birth certificate,