Separation, Divorce and Domestic Agreements
Introductory Legal Information: Family Law in Ontario
Garry J. Wise, Barrister and Solicitor,
WISE LAW OFFICE
Telephone: (416) 972-1800 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Entering the U.S. with Your Children – Information for Parents on Notarized Letters of Permission to Travel
According to Passport Canada, as of January 23, 2007, all Canadians entering the United States by air must have a valid passport. Canadians who enter the United States by land or sea can continue to use such documents as a birth certificates and drivers’ licenses for at least another year.
The following are some of the essentials recommended by the Canada Services Border Agency and The United States Customs and Border Protection Office to help avoid delays or complications at the border when traveling with children after a separation. These requirements may also be applicable, absent a separation, where only one parent travels with a child.
Notarized Letter of Permission
A notarized Letter of Permission is required by the United States Customs and Border Protection Office (and recommended by the Canada Border Service Agency) to evidence entitlement to travel with a child.
In addition to including specific travel permissions, the letter must also include complete contact information for all parents or legal guardians, so that Customs officials can contact the non-travelling parent to verify or confirm any information.
The following is a sample Letter of Permission, provided for example purposes only. It will, of course, require appropriate modification to fit any individual circumstance:
The Letter of Permission must be or other notary public.
It is recommended that your lawyer assist you in drafting a Letter of Permission for your particular circumstances. We also recommend that appropriate border authorities be contacted in advance of your travel dates to verify requirements, as these do change from time to time.
In addition to the Letter of Permission, the Canada Border Services Agency further recommends that parents carry the following documentation when travelling with children:
When traveling with a group of vehicles, the parent and child should travel in the same vehicle when arriving at the border.
In cases of separation or divorce, only custodial parents may apply for passports on behalf of their children. Where a joint custody arrangement exists, either parent may apply for the children’s passport, but both parents must sign the application.
During this application process, Passport Canada requires that you provide the following:
Up-to-date information regarding U.S. Customs and Border requirements can be found here from the US. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Specific U.S. DHS information on travel with children is here.