Coming to Canada as a Minor
If you are a person who is under the age of majority and wants to come to Canada, you will undergo a specific application process prior to entering Canada. The border officers are very strict when it comes to examining minor children’s entrance. The reason behind this is that, the officers 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 scrutinized when they are entering Canada. This blog will introduce you required documents for a minor travelling to Canada, as well as some possible scenarios that a minor may encounter at the border.
Generally speaking, children who are under the age of eighteen are considered minors in Canada. However, different provinces and territories have their own age of majority, which is the age that determines when a person becomes an adult. That being said, anyone who is under the age of majority is considered as a “minor child”.
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. The minor child will not be admitted to Canada if the officer is not convinced that the parents or legal guardian have authorized his or her stay. 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 a result, travelers will need to make sure the information on the permission letter is 100% accurate prior to entering 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 attached to the letter.
Please note, the request for the permission letter is completely based on the discretion of the border services officer. That being said, there is a chance that the officer may not ask travelers to provide these documents when the child enters Canada. However, 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!