Children and travel

Whether your children are travelling abroad with you or on their own, preparation for their journey should begin well before they leave Canada. Here is the important advice you need to ensure that they have a safe and happy trip.


Persons under 18 or 19 years of age, depending on their province or territory of residence, are considered children and need appropriate documentation to travel abroad. The following is a list of documents that may be required:

  • Canadian passport
  • Consent letter confirming that the child has permission to travel abroad (e.g. when taking a trip alone or with only one parent)
  • Supporting identification, such as a birth certificate or citizenship card
  • Other legal documents, such as divorce papers, custody court orders or a death certificate (if one parent is deceased)

Check with the nearest embassy or consulate of each country you are planning to visit about additional entry requirements, and check our Travel Advice and Advisories for other laws and regulations affecting children.

Air travel

If a child is travelling alone:

  • Confirm in advance whether the airline will escort and supervise children from check-in through arrival.
  • Find out if there are restrictions, such as age limits, for unaccompanied minors.
  • Ensure that a parent or guardian stays at the airport until the flight has departed (as per airline regulations).
  • Read our page on Taking small children through security screening.
  • Ensure that the person greeting the child at the point of arrival has appropriate identification and authorization.

International adoptions

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is responsible for allowing an adopted child entry into Canada. For further information, visit International adoption or contact your provincial/territorial authorities.

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