When a child is travelling outside of Canada, a Consent to such travel from the non-travelling parent(s) is always a good idea. It is not uncommon for officials in Canada to question a child’s departure out of Canada. Obtaining a travel consent letter can save a parent last minute issues on the day of your departure at the airport or other border crossing. A travel consent for parents is often also necessary for a child to travel into another country, particularly outside of North America.
A travel consent letter sets out the agreement of the non-travelling parent(s) to a child’s travel outside of Canada, either alone, with the other parent or with another person. It provides details as to the identity of the child and the person the child is travelling with, as well as the dates of travel and destination(s). A travel consent can provide as much additional information as the parents wish to insert, such as confirmation as to which parent has custody, the purpose of the travel and contact information. A travel consent can be used to ensure that a child will return and the dates of return, to bolster any subsequent court case regarding custody and return, if one parent has any worries that the other parent will not, or does not, return the child to Canada.
Having a travel consent signed in front of a Notary Public or Commissioner for Taking Oaths is the best means of ensuring that no-one challenges the authenticity of the signatures and the ability of the child to travel and return.
It is important to remember that some countries have special requirements for a child entering and travelling within it when not with one or both of his/her parents. Whenever you are uncertain about the requirements of the country into which your child is travelling you should check with that country’s Consulate or Embassy on the rules and requirements for travel.