What Is A Consent Letter to Travel?
Global Affairs Canada recommends that if a person younger than 18 is travelling alone or with only one parent or another adult, they have their parents’ consent for such travel.
A notarized letter of consent to travel is proof of such consent.
Global Affairs Canada strongly recommends that children travelling alone or with one parent carry a consent letter for each and every trip abroad. They write:
We strongly recommend that Canadian children carry a consent letter if they are travelling abroad alone, with only one parent/guardian, with friends or relatives or with a group. For the purposes of this consent letter, a Canadian child is defined as anyone who is under the age of majority (18 or 19, depending on the province or territory of residence).
A consent letter is not a legal requirement in Canada, but it can simplify travel for Canadian children, as it may be requested by immigration authorities when entering or leaving a foreign country or by Canadian officials when re-entering Canada. The letter demonstrates that Canadian children have permission to travel abroad from parents or guardians who are not accompanying them.
Source: Global Affairs Canada – https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/children/consent-letter
Global Affairs Canada further recommends that the “consent letter to travel” be notarized by a notary public so that the validity of the letter will not be questioned.
This consent letter may be required by foreign authorities among other additional country-specific entry requirements. You should contact the representatives of the country or countries to be visited by the child to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information regarding their specific entry requirements as permission to enter another country is the sole prerogative of that country.
We also strongly recommend that you contact the transportation company (airline, train, bus, etc.) in order to observe any additional policies that they might have in place.
A notary public can notarize this consent document for you.
Who Must Attend the Notary Public’s Office?
The parent(s) granting consent must attend the notary public’s office with valid photo identification. A parent travelling with the child need not give consent and therefore does not need to attend the notary public’s office.
Sample Consent Letter to Travel
Global Affairs Canada provides a free interactive form that will generate a consent letter to travel. Visit https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/children/consent-letter to download a copy of the form.
Please note that other documents may be required in addition to notarized consent documents. Visit the Global Affairs Canada website before you travel to ensure that you have all of your necessary documentation.