Returning to Travel

October 20th, 2021
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After nearly 19 long months of being closed, the land and sea borders with the United States will be reopening for nonessential travel by fully vaccinated Canadians on November 8, 2021. As well, many international countries are now also open or reopening for nonessential travel by Canadians. This is amazing news for all those who have been craving a getaway or some cross-border shopping. When planning to travel, it is important to avoid any unpleasant hassles at the border by making sure that you have all the required documentation and that it is up to date. Some documents needed for travel may require notarization, such as consent to travel letters, declarations in lieu of guarantor for passport applications, and visa applications for traveling, studying, or working abroad.

What is a consent to travel letter?

Parents will finally be able to take their children on a much-needed vacation or send them to visit relatives. Activities like cross-border sporting events and student trips may be able to resume soon. When planning travel for children either alone, with a relative or with one custodial parent or guardian, it is recommended by the Government of Canada that the parent(s) or guardian(s) who are not traveling provide a notarized letter giving consent for the child to travel. The Government of Canada provides a form that you can customize for this purpose, which can be found at the link below, or you can provide your own letter. It is also important to check the requirements of individual airlines and other countries when planning travel for children. For team or school trips, you may be asked to have a form or letter notarized for the team or school authorizing them to supervise your child on the trip.

What is a Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor?

It is of course important to make sure that you have a valid passport prior to traveling internationally. Many passports expired during the COVID-19 pandemic and will now need to be renewed. Canadian passport applications require the signature of a guarantor who holds a valid Canadian passport and who has known the applicant for two years or more. If you are not able to find a guarantor who meets these criteria, it is possible to sign another form called a Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor. This form is a statutory declaration that needs to be signed in front of a Commissioner of Oaths or Notary Public, where the applicant declares that they are not able to find a guarantor. This form is available from Canadian passport offices. A link with more information is provided below.

What if I need a visa to travel, study or work abroad

With international borders opening up, many people will once again be applying to work, study or travel abroad for longer periods of time. Visas to visit foreign countries are required for all of these situations. All countries have their own individual requirements for visas, so it is important to get up-to-date information directly from the governments of any country you require a visa. As part of a visa application process, or as part of your application to study or work in another country, you may need to sign forms or letters in front of a Notary or provide notarized copies of documents such as diplomas. A Notary Public who has seen your original document can make a copy on which they put their notary seal, signature, and a statement certifying that this is a true copy of the original document.

How can Red Seal Notary Help?

We have helpful Notaries who can notarize consent to travel letters for you. You can bring in your own letter or request that Red Seal Notary draft one for you. Notaries are also available to notarize Declarations in Lieu of a Guarantor for a Canadian passport application. We can also notarize forms needed to support a visa application or provide certified copies of your original documents. Red Seal Notary has convenient walk-in offices in Toronto, Ottawa, and Mississauga where you can have the document commissioned in person. You can also contact our helpful call center to make appointments to notarize documents at locations across the country. For documents that require a signature, you just need to bring in the document along with a piece of valid photo identification and sign the document in front of the Notary Public. For certified true copies, you need to bring in the original document, and the Notary will photocopy and notarize the copy for you.

Helpful Links

Government of Canada Travel Consent Letter

Guarantor Requirements

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