Format for Children’s Departure at INM
By INM staff
Each year, dozens of unaccompanied minors travel by air, land, or sea, for tourism, study, or family reasons. Therefore, since January of this year, the INM has implemented the format called Salida de Menores, (SAM, Departure of Minors) to safeguard the welfare of the minor, whereby children and adolescents can travel abroad unaccompanied by their parents. They can comply with the provisions of the Migration Act in a quick and easy way, free of charge.
Currently, the Migration Act provides three methods for unaccompanied minors to travel alone, with a third person ,or with a guardian. The first is through the SAM format issued by the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM, National Migration Institute); a second method is a document signed by a Commissioner for Oaths or Public Notary; and the third is an authorization issued by a court. Only one method may be used.
The SAM format is a mechanism that has several security measures providing certainty to the family and the child that his or her trip will culminate with the planned itinerary.
The SAM format applies to the following:
- A Mexican girl, boy, teen, or person under legal guardianship who is traveling with an adult who does not hold parental authority or legal guardianship,
- A Mexican girl, boy, or teenager traveling alone,
- A foreign girl, boy, or teenager with temporary residence or permanent or temporary student.
It will not be required in the following cases:
- Minors traveling with both parents,
- Minors traveling with one parent,
- Children and adolescents who are to be repatriated to Mexico.
In the event that the minor is accompanied by a guardian, he or she must also complete the SAM format, unless he or she has proof of being the child’s legal guardian.
Procedures to get SAM
Users can get the SAM format through the INM website, www.inm.gob.mx. It must be properly filled out online so that once printed, it can be shown at the INM window at the airport at the time the minor intends to leave the country. The SAM is free; it will be issued immediately, and its validity is six months from the date of issue.
1.- SAM format properly completed (3 sets: one for the airline, one for the Federal Migration Agent, and one that the minor must keep),
2.- Copy of the minor’s passport,
3.- Copy of child’s birth certificate,
4.- Copy of the identification of the grantors (parents or guardians) and who receives permission to accompany (if the child is traveling with a third person).
If the child is going out of country several times, you must request a new form for each trip.