Important information concerning children travelling abroad
For more information, visit international.gc.ca and travel.gc.ca/child.
Travelling with Children or Children Travelling Alone
Immigration authorities in most countries are increasingly vigilant when children cross international borders. Whether travelling
alone or accompanied by an adult, each child travelling abroad must have an individual valid travel document or passport and
may also require supporting documentation. Prior to any travel, you should contact the embassy or consulate of all countries
the child will be visiting to inquire about entry requirements.
Documentation to Facilitate Travel Abroad
The following documents may be requested to support the entry of a child to another country:
Birth certificate showing the names of both parents.
Documents pertaining to custody.
A letter of consent authorizing the child to travel alone; with only one parent; or with someone other than the custodian or
guardian, as the case may be. The child should have a letter from every person or organization with custodial rights,
guardianship rights or, in Quebec only, parental authority. Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada recommends that
the letter be certified, stamped, or sealed by an official with the authority to administer an oath or solemn declaration.
If one of the parents is deceased, the death certificate.
Documentation and Tips to Facilitate the Return to Canada
The following tips may help to avoid delays when a child is returning to Canada:
Make sure you carry proper identification for yourself and any children travelling with you to assist in confirming your legal
right or authorization to enter Canada upon your return.
If you have custody of the child, carry copies of documents that specify your custody rights.
If you are not the legal guardian of the child, carry a letter of permission or authorization giving you custody when entering
Canada. When one parent is travelling with a child, a letter from the other parent can also facilitate the return of both the
parent and the child. The letter should also contain telephone numbers where the parents or legal guardians can be
If you are travelling with a group, make sure you are in the same vehicle as the child you are accompanying when arriving at
a border crossing.
Have the child memorize a telephone number to call in case of emergency.
Custody arrangements in Canada may not be recognized in another country. In extreme cases, the child may not be able to leave the
country visited. It is recommended that, before leaving on a trip, you check with the embassy or consulate of the country or countries the
child will be visiting to determine the documentation that may be requested relating to custody of the child.
For further information, contact:
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada:
Outside Canada 613-944-6788
If a custody dispute could possibly arise while travelling with the child, you should talk to a lawyer prior to your departure. We suggest
that you also read the publication International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents.
You may order a copy online or access an online version at:
For a free copy, call:
In Canada 1-800-267-8376
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