Although Canada is our neighbor, it does not mean traveling to the country to exclude anyone, especially with a minor, form entering without proper documentation. Anyone going with a child to Canada must have the appropriate documents to come and leave. Without the proper papers, the child and parent may not get permission to enter. So, before you plan your trip or take off, get the facts to avoid any delays going to Canada.
Traveling by Land or Sea
A parent or guardian going with a minor to Canada by land or sea can present a passport card instead of a passport. Other acceptable documents are a driver’s license or a FAST card. If you are going to Canada on a cruise, the childbirth certificate or a naturalization certificate can be used for identification. If you both have a passport, you will avoid any difficulties you may encounter using other documents.
Traveling by Air
Traveling by air may be the fastest way of getting to Canada, however, to enter you must provide proof of citizenship and identity. Canadian immigration will accept a valid U.S. passport, passport card, or NEXUS card. A minor can travel with a birth certificate or naturalization certificate. For military personnel, a military ID or a U.S. Mariner document will work. Again, having a valid U.S. passport will eliminate most issues you may encounter using another form of identification.
Affidavit of Consent
A parent or guardian traveling with a minor must have a notarized affidavit of consent from the other parent or guardian. The document must include all minors name, both parents name, trip dates and contact information for both parents/guardians. Without the affidavit of consent, both child and parent may be subject to additional security procedures.
There are special circumstances when a minor can enter Canada with only one parent and without the consent of the other. For you to fall into this category, you must provide proof of the absent parent. For instance, a divorced parent can show a Divorce Decree Certificate or a court order. If one parent is deceased, a copy of the death certificate is sufficed.
For minors going on a school trip or other organized tours, they can present a birth certificate at the port of entry. Any minor with a criminal record must contact the Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You may require special permission for admission. It is better to notify the authorities before going and getting an entry denial.