Travel Consent

What is a Travel Consent? 

Travel consent applies to a child who is either traveling alone, with only one parent/guardian, friends, relatives or a group (e.g. sports, school, musical, religious).

Although there is no Canadian legal requirement for children to carry a travel consent, a travel consent may be requested by immigration authorities when a child is traveling abroad. Failure to produce such consent upon request may result in delays or refusal to enter or exit a country. Furthermore, it is highly advised that even in situations where a parent has full/sole custody, they obtain a travel consent from another parent who has access rights (also known as visitation rights).

A travel consent should include the following information

  1. The non-traveling parents name and contact information
  2. Full names and birth dates of each parent and each child.
  3. Specific dates for travel
  4. Mode of transportation.
  5. The destination address and contact details

The travel consent should be notarized. It is best that the travel consent is done well in advance of any travel plans.

So, what happens in a situation where a travel consent is required for a parent to travel with their child without the other spouse but the non-traveling spouse refuses to consent? The only court appearance that will decide if the child is able to travel is a Motion. In these situations, a judge will evaluate the matter even though one of the child’s parents refuses to consent to the trip.

Writing a Travel Consent Form

The government of Canada offers a recommended outline for your travel consent form. A travel consent form or letter should be straightforward and easy to read. The government recommends all travel consent forms be notarized to ensure they are accepted during travel.  

Commonly Asked Questions About Travel Consent

What happens if my ex refuses to sign or complete a travel consent? 

When an ex refuses to sign a travel consent a motion is required. Learn all the steps to start a motion and get travel consent from a separate partner. If your ex refuses to sign a travel consent document in Canada check out this article for more information. 

What is the age requirement for a travel consent? 

Other countries often require a travel consent form based on their laws and regulations. While each country is different it is advised to have travel consent for any child under the age of 19 to ensure you are covered in all events unless you have specifically looked up the laws in the country you are visiting. 

Do I need travel consent if my partner is traveling with our child alone? 

A consent letter is suggested for any child traveling alone, with one parent/guardian, friends,  relatives, or a group showing they have permission to travel abroad from every parent/guardian that is not accompanying them on the trip. 

Does a travel consent form need to be notarized? 

Without the notarized seal, the travel consent form is not considered a legal document. All travel consent forms should be notarized to ensure they are legally accepted within the country you are traveling to. 

Do I need a notarized travel consent form for travel with my child from Canada to the US?

It is highly recommended by both the U.S. and Canadian border services that you carry a notarized parents consent to travel form for your child under the age of 19 if you are traveling between the two borders. 

Do I need a travel consent document traveling within Canada? 

A travel consent document is not required when traveling within Canada however, will likely be requested if you are traveling through any foreign country border crossings or re-entering Canada. 

What is court-ordered consent to travel?

In some cases, it is required within a separation agreement or custody agreement each parent or guardian is required to get consent before traveling abroad.  

If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers regarding further issues related to your child’s travel consent please contact us at (416) 840-1475 or schedule your free initial consultation here.