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Is it legal to leave home at 17 and move to another country?

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  • Is it legal to leave home at 17 and move to another country?

    Hi! I am 16 years old and I'm homeschooled. I will be graduating early so I want to move out next year when I'm 17, after graduation. I want to know if it is legal to move out of my moms house to live with one of my friends an hour away, or my bestfriend who may be moving to Australia. Also, I wouldn't be running away, I would only leave with her consent. I just need to know if it's actually legal. Thank you!!

  • #2
    re: Is it legal to leave home at 17 and move to another country?

    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out this morning and posting your question. It sounds like you’re working on putting together a solid plan and your next steps. That’s great and super smart. You’re asking a good question.

    We aren’t legal experts here, but we are able to speak generally about this. In general, if your legal guardian (it sounds like that’s your mom) gave you permission to leave, then you are able to move out. Basically because your mom is legally responsible for you until you turn 18, she has the right to decide where you live until then. So if she allows you to leave, then you are able to leave.

    Some things to be aware of – even though it’s legal to move out, there may be some things that you won’t be able to do until you become a legal adult (at 1. You may not be able to rent an apartment or get a job without your guardian’s consent. It might also be difficult to travel or get on a plane if you are under 18 without consent of a guardian. These are just some things to be aware of.

    It sounds like you’re really working on putting together a plan and making sure you have everything figured out. We’re glad that you reached out to us. If you have any other further questions please feel free to call or chat with us. You can call us 24 hours a day at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). If you aren’t able to call, you can chat with us through our website (www.1800runaway.org) from 4.30pm-11.30pm central time.

    We look forward to your call or chat.

    Best of luck to you,

    NRS
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      I am 17 and I have a friend that's moving to another country and I want to go with them so I want to runaway from home to do so could my parents do anything to stop me

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi there,

        Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. We are here 24/7 to listen and to support.

        We are not legal experts, but generally speaking because you are a minor your parents could file a runaway report and if found you could be returned by the police. There could also be legal consequences for whomever you stay with or is involved with you running away for what is called harboring a minor. One thing you can do is contact your local police station and inquire about how they handle runaway reports. Another thing would be to hold on until you are 18 and legally able to leave your home. If you have questions about any of this or want to action plan your options, don't hesitate to reach out to us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

        Good luck,

        NRS
        Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

        National Runaway Safeline
        [email protected] (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello. I am 17 and I'm going through a hard patch in the country where I stay. I want nothing more than to run away to United States where my boyfriend stays. However to do so, I require a USA visa. I already have a passport. The money isn't an issue. I was wondering if I can acquire a visa without my parents finding out? Also are there any job opportunities for a 17 year old in Durango, Colorado where I'm running off to? This is really urgent and it can't wait. Please reply ASAP. Thank you so much.

          Comment


          • ccsmod9
            ccsmod9 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are in a difficult situation, and we understand it takes courage to reach out for help. The National Runaway Safeline is located in the United States of America (USA). Our knowledge of helpful community based resources and our understanding of youth in crisis related laws is limited to the USA. If you are located in a country outside of the USA, you can use this link to find a youth helpline in or around your country: https://www.childhelplineinternation...pline-network/.
            We hope that by reaching out to a local resource, you are able to get the support you need from an organization that understands the laws and circumstances that affect youth in your country.

        • #6
          I'm 16 from the united kingdom and am considering moving away to America for a year or 2 to fulfil my dreams in the music industry. I have a dual nationality of both the united kingdom and united states. I'm 16 now but will be 17 when I want to leave the UK for a while, and if I do go to USA will there be any legal strings attatched stopping me due to my age? thank you

          Comment


          • ccsmod16
            ccsmod16 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for reaching out to NRS. We are not legal experts, however we can provide general information regarding your situation. It sounds like you might have dual citizenship, this would mean that you don’t have to worry about having a tourist visa or green card. As you would be moving to a secondary location without your legal guardians, you would require their permission. Without their permission, you would be considered a runaway. Running away while a minor is considered a status offense, similar to breaking curfew. If you did have permission, there would be the issue of finding a permanent place of residence as well as enrolling into a school in the US to complete your education.

            Please feel free to reach back out to NRS via our hotline, email, or chatting service if you would like specific resources or if you would like to go into depth about your situation. We are available 24/7 and our line (1-800-786-2929) is toll free.

        • #7
          im 17 about to turn 18 in 3 months and i want to move out the country i want to go live with my brother, and i want to know if i still need a guardian to let that happend or need anything legally done?

          Comment


          • ccsmod2
            ccsmod2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for reaching out to us. To go out of the country and live with your brother, you need to know the requirements for that country. Most countries only allow a temporary vacation visa for visiting or a longer student visa if you are going to school. You would need to have your passport, birth certificate and likely some letter from your guardian that you are allowed to be living with your brother and he has legal responsibility for you. Not every country has an age of majority at 18 for being considered an adult. It is important to find that out as well. We can help you with some basic information if contact us via a chat through our website or call our hotline 24/7 at 1 (800) RUNAWAY. We hope to hear from you, good luck

        • #8
          I'm only 12 and I want to leave home, I don't hate my family I hate my country. I want to leave soon but I can't I feel stuck here.,like I'm trapped. I want a fresh start somewhere far,far away where I don't have to ever see anyone from my hometown again. I'm planing on leaving as soon as I can. With my parents consent what age can I leave to go live in another country.

          Comment


          • ccsmod13
            ccsmod13 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there,

            Thank you for taking the time to write us here at NRS. It sounds like there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you are thinking about leaving your situation. It can certainly be difficult to navigate stressful situations when you are feeling stuck. It's understandable to want a fresh start when something has not been going according to plan. We want you to know that you are not alone in this. We are not legal experts, but we can speak generally about laws regarding a minor living on their own. Until you turn 18 your parents are legally obligated to make sure you are safe and care for you. You would need permission from your parents to live somewhere else and they would still be required to make sure you are being taken care. For example, your parents could give you permission to live with another family member who is able to keep you safe.

            Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. We encourage you to reach out to a trusted adult about how you are feeling to talk it through. Perhaps a family member, teacher, or a counselor. We are happy to help you brainstorm some ways to cope with your situation and improve it, and find people in your life who can support you as well. If you would like to talk more you can contact us 24/7 by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY or live chat with us at 1800runaway.org.

            Be safe,
            NRS

        • #9
          I'm 15 year old, found this website after a lot of Research and i can't possibly find any way out of this hellhole, well the thing is my parents are not trying to keep this family together i won't go in detail what they do but yea it's bad. Anyway i really wanna get away from here, is there any possibility i can run away to USA? I don't have any relatives there and I don't have a passport, i know i can live on my own even if it's worse then this, I'll be happy.

          Comment


          • ccsmod3
            ccsmod3 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hey there, and thanks for reaching out to us here at NRS. We know that it can take a lot of courage to reach out for support, and we're glad you took that step.

            It sounds like things at home are pretty tough right now, and we're sorry to hear that. Running away is a big step, and it's generally a good idea to spend some time thinking through a plan before making that decision. Having an idea of where you'll go, how you'll get there, and what you'll do to survive once you're there are important things to consider. It sounds like you've started to think through this some, but it's really tough to say whether you'd be able to run away to the US or not. That's no small feat, especially without the ability to travel out of the country. There are also ample travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic, which would likely make things a much more complicated.

            However, because NRS is US based, we don't have much information that we can provide you with at this time as far as running from one country to another. If you'd like to talk things through with someone, you might be able to connect with an organization in your area by visiting www.childhelplineinternational.org. You can click on "Find a Child Helpline" right at the top of the page, and then search for your country from there.

            We hope that you're able to find the help that you're looking for.

            NRS
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