It’s an election year, which means your Facebook feed is full of people who claim they will move to another country if Trump/Sanders wins and turns this country into an authoritarian hellscape/socialist nightmare. If you’re one of those people making those posts (or celebrities Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, and Bill O’Reilly), you need to start prepping now if you’re going to flee the country in just a few short months.
This process can be difficult if you have a baby. If you’re just going by yourself, all you really need is a passport and a backpack full of guns/marijuana (plus a passport and visa or whatever). But when you’re going with your family, you need, like, an actual plan. Whether you’re fleeing to a secret compound in Argentina or a small town in Canada, here’s how to prep your baby for international travel.
It takes two to get a passport
From the day they’re born, babies, like anyone, have to have a passport to travel out of the country. It’s the internationally recognized identification system that we all love and adore. But for babies and other minors under the age of 16, they can be kind of annoying to get. That’s because both parents or guardians either have to be there in person to apply for the passport or they have to send in a consent form, along with a ton of other information proving that you are that baby’s parent or guardian.
While it may seem like a lot of extra paperwork, there’s actually a great reason for it: preventing international parental kidnapping. You can’t just take your child overseas to avoid the other parent’s rights (or a new president), and that’s why the State Department created rules to make it harder for just one parent to get a passport for the child.
Even if you have sole custody of your child, you need to jump through hoops in order to prove that, even going so far as to get a court order specifically allowing you to apply for a minor’s passport.
Note that you don’t need to be a biological parent in order to apply for a minors passport — the person/people applying for the passport just need to be the child’s legal guardian(s). If, however, someone besides you or your partner has parental rights, you need their consent to get the passport.
For the full list of what you need in order to apply for a minor’s passport, check out this list from the State Department. For minors, passports last five years, cost $80 plus an execution fee of $25, and must be applied for and renewed in person by the guardian.
Check out your visa situation
As a U.S. citizen, you and your family can travel to most of North and South America and Europe without applying for a visa (as in the document authorizing entry into a country, not the credit card). But you can’t stay there for a long — in most cases, you need to go back home within ninety days. If you’re alone, you could probably go on the run, change your name, fake amnesia, and get by. Unfortunately, things are a little harder if you’re responsible for another human life.
In most cases, you’ll need to get a work visa if you want to stay in the country. A work visa is, of course, dependent on work, so you need to find a job in your country of choice. If you’re planning on fleeing before November, now is a good time to start the interview process.
You can usually get visas for your entire family when you get a work visa, but every country is different. If you’re interviewing with a job overseas (or over the wall), the topic will probably come up. Sometimes, your employer will even pay your application and relocation fees.
Because it can take so long to 1) get a job in another country and 2) get all the paperwork ready to actually move to that country, you should really get started now. If you’re going to escape from America’s dark future, you need to commit to it today.
Talk to an accountant
Transferring your financial life from one country to another can be complicated, especially if you have big debts like a mortgage or student loans. To make things easier, you probably want to keep your American bank account, especially if you have any on-going financial liabilities. Additionally, you may want to open an international bank account that can deal with multiple currencies. If you set the account up ahead of time, you’ll be able to use it as soon as you get to your new homeland.
You’ll probably want to talk to an accountant or financial planner if you have major assets, savings, or investments. You’ll also want to plan ahead for the next tax year, since you’ll be paying taxes in two different countries (just because you moved away doesn’t mean Uncle Sam loses his pay).
Find a pediatrician
Your baby has medical needs and you need to find a pediatrician, which means you need health insurance, unless you moved to one of those socialist hellscapes in order to get free health insurance, in which case you’re probably fine.
Actually, this all seems like a lot of work
Maybe you should just stay here?