Minor Child Travelling to Canada

Minor Children entering Canada as a Visitor

If your child is under age of 18 he or she would be considered minor in most provinces or territories in Canada. Minor children have to follow the same rules just like any other visitors to Canada. When minors travel alone or with adults other than their parents they are more closely checked to ensure the child is not kidnapped or a missing person. To determine what documents you need to carry as minor child will vary when travelling alone or with someone. Continue reading below on what steps you need to take as minor child to travel to Canada.

Who is a minor child?

Depending which province or territory you will visit/study/work in Canada will determine if you are considered an adult. This is known as age of majority, if you are under age of majority you are considered a minor child. See chart for each province or territory in Canada to determine if you are considered an adult or minor.

Province/Territory Age of Majority
Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan 18
British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Yukon 19

Minor Child is travelling alone to Canada

When travelling alone as minor to Canada you need a valid passport, unfortunately a parent’s passport cannot be used even if the child’s information is included. Also, the minor child needs to carry copy of his/her birth certificate and letter from mom and dad confirming the travel. If the child has no parents the legal guardian can authorize the trip as well. Also, the minor child should have the contact information of the parents or legal guardian handy as well and have the contact information of the adult who will look after the child in Canada.

Minor Child Travelling with One Parent

If you are a minor child and you are travelling with one parent only then the parents needs to have the child’s passport handy, copy of birth certificate and a signed authorization letter from the parent that is not joining the trip. The parent that is not joining the trip their personal contact information and his/her copy of identity document such as passport or national identity card should be handy as well.

Minor Child Travelling with Parents that are Divorced/Separated/Deceased

  • If the minor child’s parents are divorced or separated, the parent that is travelling with the child should carry copies of the legal custody documents. Also, it is recommended to get a letter of permission from the parent that is not travelling that the child can take a trip outside of the country.
  • If your parents are separated or divorced and only one parent has sole custody of the minor child then a signed letter of permission is required by the one parent and copy of the custody decree
  • If one of the minor child’s parents is deceased then the travelling parent should carry a copy of the death certificate

Minor Child Travelling with Adoptive Parents or Legal Guardian

  • If the minor child is travelling with adoptive parents then adoption papers should be carried, if the minor child is travelling with legal guardian then guardianship papers should carried during the trip
  • If the minor child is travelling someone that is not the parent, legal guardian or adoptive parents than the child should have written permission from the parents or guardians to travel and supervise the child. The letter should indicate the contact information from the parents or guardians. The letter does not have to be certified but photocopy of the parents or legal guardians signed passports or national identity cards should be included with the letter

Will the Immigration Officer ask for Supporting Documents when Travelling with Minor?

The immigration officer may not ask for documents when a child travel to Canada but it is highly recommended to carry documents should the officer have doubts. If the immigration officer is not convinced then you are simply turned back around.

Documents Minor Children need to Carry when Studying in Canada

  • Valid study permit
  • eTA if the traveller comes from visa-exempt country
  • Satisfy the immigration officer that the stay is only for temporary purposes and will exit once the study permit expires
  • Documents from the adult that will take care of the minor child in Canada known as custodian if the child is less than 17 years of age. Some provinces or territories minor children between 17 years of age and the age of majority the school they intend to study n the immigration officer may ask for custodian.
  • Two notarized documents need to be carried by minor child. One notarized document from the parents or legal guardian in the home country and the other from the custodian in Canada.
  • Custodian must make arrangements that the minor child will be taken care of and supported during his/her time of stay. (include custodian declaration form)

How long is Study Permit Valid for Minor Children?

Minor children that are in grade 1 to 8 the study permit is valid for one year usually. Minor children from grade 9 to 12 or attending a college or university their study permit is usually valid for the length of time of studies, plus 90 days.

If the minor child is studying in Quebec, the study permit is valid for the same length of time as their CAQ. Also, minors travelling alone to Quebec need a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) to study.

If you are minor child and your term of study is for a long time then your study permit should be valid for the same length of time as

  • Your parents permits
  • The child’s passport if it expires before the parents permits
  • The CAQ, if the child minor child is studying in Quebec

Do I have to apply for Study Permit as Minor Child?

The minor child may not need a study permit to Canada if:

  • The minor child is attending kindergarten
  • The minor child is a refugee claimant or whose parents are refugees or refugee claimants
  • The minor child is with parents that are already in Canada who are allowed to work or study in Canada, and who want to attend pre-school, primary or secondary school

If the minor child is studying Canada without the study permit and reaches age of majority turn 18 or 19 depending the province or territory, the child must then apply for study permit to continue their studies.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you are minor child and you are travelling with or without parents and not sure what steps you need to take as visitor to Canada then contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545. Our immigration representatives have assisted many minors travelling to Canada whether it is for tourism or study and we can help you too Contact us today for more information.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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