What is a travel consent letter?
If your child will be traveling abroad alone, the Government of Canada strongly recommends that Canadian children carry a notarized consent letter. This letter is essential if they are travelling abroad alone, with only one parent/guardian, with friends or relatives or with a group. For the purposes of this consent letter, a Canadian child is defined as anyone who is under the age of majority (18 or 19, depending on the province or territory of residence).
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Is a travel consent letter legally required?
A consent letter is not a legal requirement in Canada, but it can simplify travel for Canadian children. The letter may be requested by immigration authorities when entering or leaving a foreign country or by Canadian officials when re-entering Canada. The letter demonstrates that Canadian children have permission to travel abroad from parents or guardians who are not accompanying them.
The Government of Canada recommends that you talk to a lawyer about the legal issues that apply to you and your children’s unique situation, particularly if your parenting arrangement has special terms governing international travel. Carrying a consent letter does not guarantee that children will be allowed to enter or leave a country, as every country has its own entry and exit requirements.
For additional information about entry and exit requirements for Canadian children travelling alone, with only one parent or with another accompanying person, see the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories or contact the nearest embassy or consulate of the destination country.
The Government of Canada recommends that the letter be signed by every non-accompanying person or organization with the legal right to make major decisions for the child, including anyone with:
guardianship rights, or
parental authority (in Quebec only)
The Government of Canada also recommend that the letter be signed by any non-accompanying parent who has access to the child.
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