Travelling with your child can be an exciting experience that builds lasting memories and strengthens your bond as a family. However, it's essential to be aware of the legal requirements and necessary documentation before travelling with children. Understanding these requirements can help you have a smooth and stress-free experience for both you and your child.
One important document to have is a consent letter. This letter demonstrates that a child has permission to travel outside of Canada from every parent or guardian who isn't travelling with them. While you may not need a consent letter for travel within Canada, it's highly recommended when travelling abroad. Some foreign countries may refuse entry to a child without a consent letter. Therefore, make sure to secure a consent letter before taking your child with you on a trip.
When do you need a consent letter? You should use it for all cross-border trips when your child is
travelling alone, with only one parent or guardian, with friends or relatives, or as part of a group such as a school or sports team. Even if you're travelling with one parent, having a consent letter can be helpful.
When using a consent letter, it's important to have the original signed letter, not a copy, to ensure its authenticity.
When drafting a consent letter, make sure to include your child's name, your name, and contact details as the parent or guardian, the name of the person travelling with your child, their relationship to your child, and details about the trip such as the location and duration.
If you're travelling solo with your child, you can provide proof of being the sole parent or guardian, such as a long-form birth certificate or the death certificate of the deceased parent.
It's advisable to consult with a lawyer when drafting a consent letter and listing multiple children from the same family in one letter when travelling together. You should also use separate letters for children travelling separately and research specific entry and exit requirements at your travel destination.
By following these guidelines and having the necessary consent letter, you can ensure a stress-free
travel experience with your child.