Government

Legal documents for your baby

Passport

Since December 11th 2001, children who travel need their own passport. This law has been established to prevent the illegal trafficking of millions of children around the world for slavery, prostitution and worse. A separate application form must be filled out for each child, including newborns.

Only one of the parents, the custodial parent in case of a divorce or the child’s legal guardian can make a demand for a passport for a child under 18 years of age.

Requirements

  • Fill out and sign the official application form. You can download it and fill it out online or get it at Canada Post or Passport Canada.
  • Have two identical passport photos of the child. See the photo specifications on the website.
  • Have your application form and the pictures signed by a guarantor. The authorised guarantor list is available on the website.
  • Prove your Canadian Citizenship with a Canadian citizenship certificate or with a Birth Certificate.
  • Provide previous passports or all travelling documents from the last five years.
  • Have a photo identification to prove your identity, such as your health insurance card.
  • If you provide original documents, they will be sent back to you with your passport. If you make photocopies of your original documents, they must be certified and signed by the receiver to prove that he has seen the original documents.

Fees

Fees may vary depending on the type of application demand, the demanding person’s age and extra services required. Passport fees vary from $22 to $37 depending on the child’s age.

In case of separation or divorce

Where a court order or agreement exists referring to custody of the child, only the person with custodial rights may apply. All documents that refer to custody or mobility of, or access to, the child must be provided. If a divorce has been granted, a copy of the divorce judgement or order must also be provided. Where joint custody provisions exist, either parent may apply.

Consent letter for children travelling abroad

It is strongly recommended that children travelling abroad carry a consent letter from every person with the legal right to make major decisions on their behalf, if that person is not accompanying the children on the trip. For example, children travelling alone, with groups, or with only one of their custodial parents should travel with a consent letter.

Validity

To make sure that a child’s passport and photo represent him/her properly, the validity period of the document varies according to the child’s age. For children under the age of 3, the passport is valid for three years only. For children 3 to 15 years old, it is valid for 5 years. Only children 11 years old or older must sign their passport.

Processing times

If you go directly to a Passport Canada office, you will have your passport within 2 weeks. If you send your demand through the mail, it will take around 20 business days for your demand to be processed.

Tips

Always check the expiration date on your passport to make sure it doesn’t expire while you are out of the country. Make photocopies of the identification page of your passport and give it to a relative or someone trustworthy who is staying in Canada during your absence. Also keep a copy with you and put it somewhere other than where you keep your passport.

Source: Directeur de l’état civil du Québec

Image de Sonia Cosentino

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