Is a travel letter of consent necessary for minors to travel


Published by Paragon Notary on 18th June, 2021

Travel letters of consent in Canada for children under the age of 18 is not compulsory but it is highly recommended.  When entering or leaving a foreign country you may be asked for one by immigration authorities or even Canadian officials when re-entering.

This confirms permission was granted for them to travel be it alone, with friends, family or you, their legal parent or guardian.  Even children who travel with organizations like religious or sports groups, and their own school may need this approval letter.

Having a travel letter of consent for a minor is evidence you or someone has permission to take the child or children with them, especially if you are divorced or separated.  This makes the person the child is with responsible for them, and can be particularly important and help in the prevention of young children or teenagers being abducted, illegally transported or trafficked. 

If you and your partner share custody of a child or children, and you do not reside together, you may need each other’s permission to travel with your child, particularly if it means you will be leaving Canada.  You or your partner have the right to object, to the child being removed from home soil to travel, if you believe there is a good reason. Let a professional consultant prepare your documents.


You can probably maneuver  your way around getting travel consent letters, but unless you are a victim of any type of violence from your ex-partner, that may be very unlikely. Family courts in Ontario try to encourage co-parenting partners to get along and make mutual decisions for the sake of the children involved.

Although travel letters must written; it is not compulsory for them to be notarized. It is however recommended by the government for the safety of the child. 

Parents are constantly genuinely concerned about their children's safety when in difficult relationships. This is understandable, and there are measures in place if you think this is a possibility. The rights and protection of children are always at the forefront of circumstances when dealing with co-parenting individuals.


Family court always base their decision in the best interest of children.  If the place you intend to visit is outside of Canada, and is plagued by violent political unrest, is war torn or deemed highly unsafe on the travel advisory list, the court can cancel a travel itinerary as it considers this a risk for the child.


Even though you may consider yourself a 'single parent', your parenting co-partner has a say in the upbringing of their young. You will need to prove that the child's other parent knows and agrees with the whereabouts of the child or that the trip was approved by the court prior to leaving. Border agents can be strict in this regard as it concerns children.


If you need a travel letter of consent granting permission for you to take your child or children out of Canada, contact our qualified notary public at Paragon Notary for advice and information.