Coming to Canada as a minor is never an easy process. If you are a minor and want to come to Canada, you will undergo a specific application process. The border officers are very vigilant when they are examining minor children’s entrance. This is because they want to make sure those minors, who are coming to Canada, are not missing children or runaway children. That being said, minors without proper documentation or the company of their parents or legal guardian(s) will be inspected when they are entering Canada. In this blog, you will learn about how to travel to Canada as a minor, as well as some possible scenarios that a minor may encounter at the border.
The term minor refers to children who are under the age of majority in Canada. However, different provinces and territories have their own age of majority. For example, the age of majority for Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan is 18. The age of majority for British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, and Yukon is 19.
The documents depend on whether the child is travelling alone or with someone.
If a minor child is travelling alone
The child should prepare and show the following documents at the border:
If a minor child is travelling with one parent only
The parent should prepare and show the following documents at the border:
If a minor child is travelling with a legal guardian or adoptive parents
In this case, the child will need to provide a copy of the guardianship papers or the adoption papers.
If a minor child is travelling with a person other than their parents or legal guardian
If the child is traveling with someone who is not the parent or legal guardian, the child should have a written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the child . If the officer does not believe that the parents or legal guardian have authorized his or her stay, the minor child will not be able to enter Canada. Another important information on the permission letter is the addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or legal guardian can be reached. If the immigration officer detects the information provided is false, the child will be refused entry to Canada. As such, travelers will need to make sure the information on the permission letter is completely correct prior to entering Canada. If you provide false information to the immigration, you may be accused of misrepresentation, which is a criminal offense in Canada. The permission letter does not need to be certified. A photocopy of the parents’ or legal guardians’ signed passports or national identity cards should be included as well.
Please note, the request for the permission letter is completely at the discretion of the border services officer. That being said, sometimes, the officer may not even ask travelers to provide these documents when the child enters Canada. Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended that the child have the documents prepared before coming to Canada, in order to avoid potential inadmissibility problems at the border.
As previously mentioned, immigration officers are vigilant about minors entering Canada, because the officers want to ensure those children are not missing children or runaway children. The process of preparing the required documents can be confusing, or sometimes, overwhelming. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Akrami & Associates work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients who are minors enter Canada. Please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545 for more information, or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!