Immigration Law: Travel Consent Letters

Travel Consent Letters

For any parent, the prospect of being separated from their child is an anxious one.  This anxiety is only exacerbated if your child is travelling without you, even in situations where your child is travelling with his or her other parent or legal guardian.  Knowing your child is equipped with a Travel Consent Letter may relieve some anxiety.  Below is some key information about Travel Consent Letters for when your child is travelling from and returning to Canada. 

Travel Consent Letters are used to show that a Canadian child has permission to travel internationally without his or her parent, parents, legal guardian, or legal guardians as the case may be.

Though Travel Consent Letters are not a formal legal requirement in Canada, they could be requested by foreign immigration officials when entering or leaving foreign countries.  Further, Canadian officials could also request them when the child is re-entering Canada.

Before writing a Travel Consent Letter it is useful to look at some templates.  The Government of Canada Template can be found at the following link: http://travel.gc.ca/docs/child/consent-letter-2123.pdf.

It is also wise to visit the government websites (such as the embassy website) of the foreign country where the child is travelling to.  Sometimes these sites could contain information about the foreign jurisdiction’s requirements for the Travel Consent Letter.

Finally, here are two tips which could potentially simplify your child’s border crossing experience:

1.       Having the Travel Consent Letter in English and in the official language of the country which your child is visiting could make it easier for the foreign immigration officials to read.

2.       In Canada, it is wise to have your child’s Travel Consent Letter witnessed by an official who has the authority to administer an oath or solemn declaration (such as a lawyer) to add credibility to the letter.