Children and travel

Whether children are travelling outside Canada with you or on their own, start preparing well before they leave to ensure a safe and happy trip.

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Minors need the right documentation to travel outside Canada. The definition of a minor changes from province to province and from country to country.

Provincial definitions of a minor

Before you leave, check with your destination’s closest embassy or consulate to find out if there are specific entry or exit requirements for minors.

Foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada

You can also find destination-specific information about other laws and regulations affecting children.

Travel Advice and Advisories

The following documents may be required when a child travels outside Canada:

Required document

Supporting documents

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

Children with dual citizenship

Dual Canadian citizens, including children, need a valid Canadian passport to board a flight to or transit through Canada by air.

More information about travelling as a dual citizen.

Canadian citizenship certificate

If your child needs a Canadian citizenship certificate to get a Canadian passport, you must apply for a Proof of Citizenship. As of July 2020, non-biological parents can pass down their Canadian citizenship to their children born outside Canada if they were the child’s legal parent at birth.

Get proof of citizenship

How to pass your Canadian citizenship down to your child

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).
  • Ensure that the person greeting the child at the point of arrival has appropriate identification and authorization.

Taking children on a plane

Taking small children through security screening.

International adoption

There are two processes to bring an adopted child to live in Canada:

  • the adoption process
  • the immigration or citizenship process

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is responsible for allowing an adopted child entry into Canada.

Adopt a child from abroad

Provincial and territorial adoption authorities

More about international adoption

Other resources
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