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Traveling with Grandkids across border

Indiana, PA
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52 posts
19 reviews
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Traveling with Grandkids across border

My in-law's want to take our children (4 & 7) to Niagara Falls for a weekend trip over a school break in October. Does anyone know the procedures for crossing the border with grandparents? I think I read that they need their birth certificates and a notarized letter from us (the parents) stating they are traveling with their grandparents and have our permission to enter Canada. Anyone know otherwise? I don't want them to get there and have to turn back because they can't cross the border. All the fun stuff is on Canada's side!!

West Grey, Ontario
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for Toronto
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1. Re: Traveling with Grandkids across border

Hi michjome;

From the Canadian Border Services Agency’s website;

cbsa.gc.ca/publications/…P004

Bringing children into Canada

Border services officers are on alert for children who need protection. Children under the age of 18 are classified as minors and are subject to the same entry requirements as any other visitor to Canada.

We will conduct a more detailed examination of minors entering Canada without proper identification or those travelling in the company of adults other than their parents or legal guardian(s). This additional scrutiny helps ensure the safety of the children.

Minors travelling alone must have proof of citizenship and a letter from both parents detailing the length of stay, providing the parents’ telephone number and authorizing the person waiting for them to take care of them while they are in Canada.

If you are travelling with minors, you must carry proper identification for each child such as a birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, permanent resident card or Certificate of Indian Status.

If you are divorced or separated, you should carry with you copies of the legal custody agreements for your children. If you are travelling with minors and you are not their parent/guardian, you should have written permission from the parent/guardian authorizing the trip. The letter should include addresses and telephone numbers of where the parents or guardian can be reached and identify a person who can confirm that the children are not being abducted or taken against their will.

Sample Letters from Foreign Affairs;

voyage.gc.ca/main/…consent_letter-en.asp

I would suggest having the letters notarized.

Best Regards

Indiana, PA
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52 posts
19 reviews
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2. Re: Traveling with Grandkids across border

Thank you! This is exactly what I needed. I want all my bases covered before they leave. I would have two very disappointed children (and grandparents) if they were unable to cross the border. Very much appreciated! The sample letter, especially helpful!

London, Ontario
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1,361 posts
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3. Re: Traveling with Grandkids across border

All these questions, whether crossing a land border by car or by air, or flying across the ocean to another country, all boil down to the same thing. The kids are who they say they are, the people in charge of the kids are who they say they are, and that the official parents or guardians of the children know where they are, know where they are going and who they are going with, and have both given their consent for them to go.

The one thing that is really crucial is when flying, because, if the lot of you are turned back at immigration, the airline you flew in on, not only has to return you back to the place of origin, but receives a very large fine for doing this. So, they really tend to be careful when allowing children to board an international flight. Thus at the other end, immigration knows that it's a safe bet, that nothing is wrong. Given all this, the border officials at Niagara Falls are well aware that grandchildren come to Canada with their grandparents, especially on school breaks. Also, I would assume you are driving across, so you aren't likely going to take flight.

Indiana, PA
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52 posts
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4. Re: Traveling with Grandkids across border

We're only 4-1/2 to 5 hours from Niagara Falls, so they are driving up. No planes involved in this trip. I will make sure they have all the necessary paperwork so they have a nice weekend.

5. Re: Traveling with Grandkids across border

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