Your completed Travel Consent Letter will need to be witnessed, preferably by a licenced notary public. Neighbourhood Notary can help you notarize your child's Travel Consent Letter.
What is it?
A travel consent letter is a letter signed by parent(s) / guardian(s) of a child who is under the age of majority (18 or 19 years old depending on province or territory) authorizing their child to travel abroad alone, with only one parent / guardian, with friends or relatives or with a group.
Examples of situations where a letter is advised include: one parent taking a child abroad; family friends taking a child abroad; school trips abroad without parents.
The letter should be signed by every non-accompanying parent / guardian. It should be witnessed by someone. The Canadian government, through Global Affairs Canada, recommends it be witnessed by a notary public so its authenticity will be less likely to be questioned.
Why do I need one?
A travel consent letter is not mandatory but it is highly recommended by the Canadian government through Global Affairs Canada as it can simplify foreign travel for your child.
Immigration officials during entry / exit from Canada or in other foreign countries my ask for one. A letter does not guarantee that the child will be allowed to enter or leave a country but it can help demonstrate that your child has your permission to travel abroad while you are physically unable to accompany them.
Here are some of our recommendations:
- If your parenting arrangement has unique circumstances, we recommend talking to a lawyer about potential legal issues.
- We recommend the letter be signed by every non-accompanying person, organization, or parent who has the legal right to make major decisions for the child / has access to the child.
- We also recommend that you contact the airline, bus, train or other transport company you will be using to check its policies and regulations for child travellers.
- A travel consent letter should be written for your specific situation.
Click here to learn more about the Government of Canada's advice regarding travel consent letters for children. The website also has sample travel consent letters to download.
DISCLAIMER: information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It may not be up-to-date and may not be accurate. It shall not be construed as legal advice. Please contact the relevant governmental entity or organization for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
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