There has been worrying news about children being smuggled into other countries in increasing numbers, and cast into slavery. The number of parents traveling with minors over whom they have no custody seems on the increase too. Canadians take these incidents seriously. When we sense something wrong, we investigate. When we find something wrong, we respond rapidly in the child’s best interests.
We wish to avoid parents traveling on our Canada ETA system becoming unwittingly embroiled in one of these investigations. Language and cultural difficulties can cause confusion, and tempers to flare. If you are traveling with a minor child or children on an ETA Canada or other form of documentation, we suggest you follow our advice, so we can put your worries to bed, and you can continue with your visit.
How We Decide Whether a Person is a Minor
The definition of when a child ceases to be a minor and becomes an adult in Canada varies between provinces and territories. Regardless of what your country or culture states, we apply these norms to all our visitors:
|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|
We suggest you use age 19 as your benchmark. Even if you are only going to Quebec your travels plans could change. When traveling in a foreign country, it is best to be well prepared!
About Consent Letters for Minors Visiting Canada
Please make sure your minor child or dependent has a letter of consent tucked into their passport, whether they are travelling abroad alone, with only one parent / guardian, with friends or relatives or with a group. While this is not a legal requirement we can insist on, we recommend it highly for reasons given.
You will find an interactive pdf form at this link to help you draft the letter. Adobe acrobat and word versions are also available. Please make sure any person with custody rights, guardianship rights, or parental authority signs it, and have a commissioner of oaths, notary public or lawyer attest it.
Applying for an ETA for Minor Children
We do not issue family clearances. All minors travelling to Canada must have either visas or ETA’s. The documents they require vary depending to individual circumstances. Once you have your mind around the differences, the electronic ETA Canada application process is quite simple. Start now. Find out why this is so.