Requirements for Minor Children Traveling to Canada

Requirements for Minor Children Traveling to Canada

Requirements for Minor Children Traveling to Canada

Traveling to Canada with minor children requires careful planning and adherence to specific requirements to ensure a smooth entry and stay in the country. This article outlines essential information regarding the requirements for minor children traveling to Canada, including necessary documents, consent forms, and considerations for their visit.

Understanding the Entry Requirements

When minors (children under 18 years of age) travel to Canada, whether accompanying their parents or traveling alone, they must meet certain entry requirements to enter the country legally. These requirements vary depending on factors such as the child’s nationality, the purpose of travel, and whether they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Key Entry Requirements

  1. Travel Documents: Minors must have a valid passport or travel document recognized by the Canadian government. Some travelers, depending on nationality, may also require a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada.
  2. Parental Consent: When minors travel alone or with only one parent or guardian, Canadian officials may request proof of consent from the non-accompanying parent(s) or legal guardian(s). This ensures that both parents or guardians acknowledge and authorize the child’s travel plans.

Documents Required for Minor Children

1. Passport or Travel Document

All minors traveling to Canada must possess a valid passport or equivalent travel document issued by their country of citizenship. The passport must be valid for the duration of their stay in Canada.

2. Visa or eTA

Depending on the child’s nationality, they may need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. An eTA is typically required for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air and is linked electronically to the minor’s passport.

3. Parental Consent Letter

A parental consent letter is a crucial document when a minor travels to Canada without both parents or legal guardians. This letter should include:

  • The child’s information (name, date of birth, passport details).
  • Details of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) granting consent.
  • Information about the person accompanying the child (if applicable).
  • Contact information of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s).

Additional Considerations

1. Unaccompanied Minors

If a minor is traveling alone to Canada, airlines may have specific procedures and requirements for unaccompanied minors. It’s essential to check with the airline beforehand to understand their policies and ensure compliance with all necessary documentation.

2. Accompanied Minors

When minors are accompanied by one parent or legal guardian, they should carry proof of the relationship (such as a birth certificate) and a parental consent letter from the non-accompanying parent or legal guardian, if applicable.

Working in Canada with Your eTA

For individuals traveling to Canada under an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), it’s important to note that an eTA allows entry for tourism, business, or transit purposes. However, it does not permit the holder to work in Canada. Those planning to work in Canada, even temporarily, must obtain the appropriate work permit or visa before engaging in any employment activities.

How to Obtain an eTA

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air. The application process for an eTA is straightforward and typically completed online through the official Canadian government website or authorized third-party service providers.

Steps to Apply for an eTA:

  1. Complete the Online Application: Fill out the eTA application form with accurate information about the minor child, including passport details and travel plans.
  2. Pay the Application Fee: A non-refundable fee is required to process the eTA application. Payment can usually be made online using a credit card or other accepted methods.
  3. Receive Confirmation: Once approved, the eTA is electronically linked to the child’s passport. It is valid for up to five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.


Traveling to Canada with minor children requires careful preparation and adherence to specific entry requirements, including valid travel documents, parental consent letters, and, for some, an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). By ensuring all necessary documents are in order and understanding the requirements outlined in this article, families can facilitate a smooth and enjoyable travel experience to Canada.

For further information and assistance regarding travel requirements for minor children or obtaining an eTA for Canada, visit Planning ahead and understanding the necessary steps will help ensure a seamless journey and compliance with Canadian immigration regulations.

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