I will be flying to Canada on 08/01/2019 and staying two weeks for a skiing vacation, this includes hotel booking and return flights. I am a UK citizen and so is my 8 year old son.

I am divorced from his mother and will be travelling with just my son, looking on the canada.ca website they give the following information.

If a minor child is travelling with one parent only The parent should present:

the child’s passport a copy of the child’s birth certificate, and a letter of authorisation, in English or French if possible, which is signed by the parent who is not travelling with them and lists the address and telephone number of the parent who is not travelling, and a photocopy of that parent’s signed passport or national identity card.

If the parents are separated or divorced, and share custody of the child: the parent travelling with the child should carry copies of the legal custody documents. It is also best to have a letter of authorisation from the other parent who has custody to take the child on a trip out of the country.

However this presents a slight problem. I have his passport, my Ex wife has given me a letter of authorisation and I have a copy of his birth certificate however she refuses to give me a photocopy of her passport. She has written her passport number down on the letter of authorisation and refuses to listen that i need anything more.

Will this cause a problem, am i likely to be held up or denied entry ?

  • 1
    The third para of the quoted block seems to suggest that in the case of divorce they do not require the passport copy.
    – mdewey
    Dec 19, 2018 at 17:29
  • Depends on the official you meet, although I think chances are good. I brought my friends son to the USA and was not harassed although the immigration officer said the child looked sad. Note however the child was an American returning to USA. Slight difference. Dec 19, 2018 at 17:30
  • I traveled to Canada form the US (by land border) with my then 7 year old son, and i didn't even know about this regulation, i only had our passports but nobody asked any questions and we had no problem at all.
    – ISAE
    Dec 19, 2018 at 18:58
  • Do you share a surname with your son? If you do, it's entirely possible no one will even raise a question.
    – AakashM
    Jan 17, 2019 at 9:28

1 Answer 1


The photocopy only applies if you are still married. If you're divorced, the most important thing to have is the custody document. The authorization letter is optional but is very good to have. Ultimately though, these are just recommendations, they aren't specified in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. The immigration officer is responsible to use his/her discretion in determining whether you have the legal right to accompany a minor child. If you believe there would be any reason for an immigration officer to deny your request to enter based on a custody issue, it's advisable to consult a lawyer ahead of time.

You may be able to get a sense of what they want to see in the authorization letter here: Consent letter

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