It is important that a traveling parent have a consent letter to travel as immigration authorities upon entering or leaving a foreign country may request proof that the traveling parent has the right to travel with the child(ren). Without the consent letter, a country could refuse to allow a party to enter with the children, or could cause significant delays and questioning at the border.
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada recommends that a consent 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);
- Signed by any non-accompanying parent who has access to the child; and
- Certified by an official who has the authority to administer an oath or solemn declaration (e.g. a commissioner of oaths, notary public or lawyer), so that the border officials will be less likely to question authenticity.
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada also recommends that you seek the advice of a lawyer if you are involved in a custody dispute or if one might develop while the child is abroad.
By Solmaz Separy