With the cold weather upon us and Spring Break just around the corner, many children will be embarking on vacations without their parents.
Whether your children will be travelling with their classmates, a sports team, a church group, or participating in an educational tour, there are a few things you should know.
First and foremost, your children must have their own passports. For information on obtaining a passport for your child, please visit Passport Canada’s website.
Your children may also require other documents.
Air Canada, for instance, requires that children carry their birth certificates showing the names of both parents, along with any legal documents pertaining to custody. A death certificate is also required, if one or both parents are deceased. And a consent-to-travel letter, signed by the children’s parents or legal guardians, is needed when children are travelling without one or both parents.
WestJet requires that unaccompanied minors carry a photocopy of their government-issued identification, showing their name, gender, and date of birth. Additionally, each parent or guardian picking up or dropping off a child at the airport must present government-issued ID.
Children travelling without parental consent-to-travel letters may be refused boarding in Canada, or they can be held at the border when trying to leave a foreign country. To avoid frustration, panic and disappointment, you may wish to contact the airline to confirm its rules for children travelling alone. And it might also be prudent to contact the embassy or consulate of the country your child will be visiting to determine its specific entry and exit requirements.
It is important to note that children travelling with only one parent must present a consent letter signed and dated by the other parent. And children travelling without either parent must present a consent letter signed and dated by both parents. Your consent-to-travel letter should also be notarized.
If you would like Red Seal Notary to draft your consent-to-travel letter for you, simply complete the online form located here: http://www.redsealnotary.com/consent-to-travel-document.html.
If your child is travelling to Mexico without you, some additional rules apply. In addition to being notarized, your permission letter must also be translated into Spanish, authenticated and legalized. For more information, be sure to read New Rules for Canadian Minors Travelling to Mexico Without Their Parents.
Remember: your child is precious cargo; do not leave anything to chance.
We look forward to serving you.