Consent letter for Canadian children travelling abroad

Recommended consent letter for children travelling abroad

IRCC  strongly recommend that Canadian children carry a consent letter if they are travelling abroad alone, with only one parent/guardian, with friends or relatives or with a group. For the purposes of this consent letter, a Canadian child is defined as anyone who is under the age of majority (18 or 19, depending on the province or territory of residence).

A consent letter is not a legal requirement in Canada, but it can simplify travel for Canadian children, as it may be requested by immigration authorities when entering or leaving a foreign country or by Canadian officials when re-entering Canada. The letter demonstrates that Canadian children have permission to travel abroad from parents or guardians who are not accompanying them.

IRCC  recommend that you talk to a lawyer about the legal issues that apply to you and your children’s unique situation, particularly if your parenting arrangement has special terms governing international travel. Carrying a consent letter does not guarantee that children will be allowed to enter or leave a country, as every country has its own entry and exit requirements.

For additional information about entry and exit requirements for Canadian children travelling alone, with only one parent or with another accompanying person, see our Travel Advice and Advisories or contact the nearest embassy or consulate of the destination country.

IRCC recommend that the letter be signed by every non-accompanying person or organization with the legal right to make major decisions for the child, including anyone with:

  • custody rights,
  • guardianship rights, or
  • parental authority (in Quebec only)

IRCC also recommend that the letter be signed by any non-accompanying parent who has access to the child.

Consult if you have questions about parenting terminology.

Before writing a consent letter, read the instructions on this page and the Consent Letter FAQ

We encourage you to use our interactive form to write a consent letter that fits your specific situation. You can save the information entered in this form. However, this data is not collected or stored by Global Affairs Canada. Click on the following link to create a personalized consent letter:


Consent Letter – Interactive form

click on the link above to download the consent letter form

if you are not able to open this form  and the following error message is on the screen

then you need to download adobe acrobat pro on your laptop or pc

A sample consent letter is also available in the following formats, which you can customize to meet your needs:


Consent Letter[PDF – 92KB]


Consent Letter[MS WORD – 27KB]

The signing of a consent letter may be witnessed by anyone who has attained the age of majority (18 or 19, depending on the province or territory of residence). However, we strongly recommend that you have the letter witnessed by a notary public, so that border officials will be less likely to question its authenticity.

IRCC also recommend that you contact the airline, bus, train or other transport company you will be used to check its policies and regulations for child travellers.

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