When traveling with a child outside or within Canada, certain considerations should be made to alleviate unnecessary travel stress or limit additional travel issues. Having the proper documentation in order when traveling is very important to demonstrate your travel intentions and your authority on traveling with / caring for the child while they are away from home.
A child consent Letter demonstrates that the child has permission to travel abroad, away from parent(s) or legal guardian(s) who are not accompanying them. It is recommended that a child has a consent letter when traveling abroad alone, with friends and family, or with only one parent/guardian. Within Canada a child is defined as anyone who is under the age of majority in that province, being either 18 or 19. Although a consent letter is not a legal requirement in Canada, it is highly recommended when traveling to provide transparency for immigration authorities regarding the safety of any Canadian child traveling. A consent letter may be requested by immigration authorities when entering or exiting a foreign country, or by Canadian officials. Generally speaking, the consent letter declares that the child is being permitted by their parents or guardians to travel and are being accompanied by the right individuals, most commonly family or friends. In addition to having the consent form signed by the child’s legal parents or guardians, it is also recommended to have every non-accompanying person or organization with legal right to make decisions for the child also sign the document. Additionally, the name, address and telephone number of the adult(s) who will look after the child should be provided for emergency purposes. The Canadian government strongly recommends that child consent letters are witnessed by a notary public, as border officials will be less likely to question the documents authenticity.
For more information on traveling with a child, please click the link below to be directed to the government of Canada’s travel tips.