Travel Consent

Travel Consent

Travelling with your children? Don’t forget to bring this (hint- it’s not your passport)

Zehra Uddin

Have you separated from your ex and are planning a vacation with just your children for the first time? Travelling with kids can be hectic enough. You may feel like you’re constantly forgetting something important. Did I lock the door? Set the alarm? Remember everyone’s passports? One thing you may not have on your radar, but should consider, is preparing a travel consent, and here’s why.

What is travel consent?

A travel consent letter or form is a legal document which allows a child to travel internationally with one parent or guardian. This letter/form must be notarized and signed by the non-travelling parent. This letter shows immigration authorities that you have informed the other parent(s) or guardian(s) and have their permission to travel with the child(ren) alone.

When should I get a travel consent?

Although travel consent is not a legal requirement in Canada, the Government of Canada strongly recommends that minor children carry a notarized travel consent. A travel consent can be requested by immigration authorities at any time when going to, or coming from, a foreign country. It can be requested by Canadian officials or airline agents.

Despite the fact that there is no legal requirement to carry a notarized travel consent when travelling with children as a sole parent, the CBSA may refuse to allow you to travel with your children if you do not provide them with this document.

Travel consent is used in many circumstances, not just by separated or divorced parents. Travel consent should be prepared for all cross-border travel when a child is travelling:

  • alone
  • with only one parent or guardian
  • in alternative care, such as friends, relatives or with groups

When travelling to foreign countries, it is important to check the specific entry and exit requirements, as foreign jurisdictions may not recognize a travel consent as sufficient.

What should be included?

While there is no official travel consent form, there are several pieces of information that must be included. Our capable lawyers have drafted dozens of travel consents, give us a call and we will take care of the rest.

The other parent(s) won’t sign the consent, what do I do?

If you have provided the details of travel to the other parent(s), but they refuse to consent to the children’s travel, there is a way of dispensing with their consent. Here at Bookman Law, we have represented clients in numerous “vacation motions”. In these motions, a judge will give the travelling parent permission to travel without the other parent’s consent.


If you believe there is a risk that the travelling parent will not bring the child back to Canada as promised, it is important to consult a lawyer prior to signing a travel consent prepared by the travelling parent. This is especially important when the children are travelling to a non-signatory to the Hague Convention governing international child abduction.

Contact Us

Whether you need your travel consent notarized, one drawn up for you, or a trusted family lawyer to bring a motion to dispense with consent, we are here to help. Contact our office to request a free initial consultation.


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Bookman Law has the experience you can trust in all areas of family law, divorce, separation, and estate law. Our family lawyers are dedicated to providing unparalleled legal services. Are you looking for a family lawyer? Click here to request a free consultation.

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