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.
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.
You can also find destination-specific information about other laws and regulations affecting children.
The following documents may be required when a child travels outside Canada:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Travelling with Children
- Recommended consent letter for children travelling abroad
- Taking children on a plane
- Taking small children through security screening
- Birth abroad
- Child abduction and parenting or custody issues
- International Child Abductions: a Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Forced marriage
- Citizenship and assisted human reproduction (AHR) and surrogacy arrangements, (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada)
- Missing Children Society of Canada
- Canada's Missing, (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)
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