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Below are rules for minor children entering Canada as a visitor as per the Canadian Government (as of January 2015).
Also as we had found out on previous trips that most mobile cell phone plans do not cover Canada. Which means when your cross the boarder you will no longer have phone, GPS on your phone, or internet (yes that includes texting). Most of the time you can call your mobile phone carrier and have a Canadian plan added to your plan for a week or so to cover you while there. The fee is usually minimal and worth it.
Minor children entering Canada as a visitor
The documents a minor child needs to enter Canada depend on whether the child is traveling alone or with someone.
 
If a minor child is traveling alone
The child should present:
  • his own passport
    • a parent’s passport, even if the child’s details are included in it, cannot be used
  • a copy of his birth certificate, and
  • a letter of authorization, in English or French if possible, and signed by both parents or by their legal guardian which lists:
    • the parents’ (or legal guardian’s) address and telephone number, and
    • the name, address and telephone number of the adult who will look after the child in Canada.
 
If a minor child is traveling with one parent only
The parent should present:
  • the child’s passport
  • a copy of the child’s birth certificate, and
  • a letter of authorization, in English or French if possible, which is signed by the parent who is not traveling 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 traveling with the child should carry copies of the legal custody documents.
  • It is also best to have a letter of authorization from the other parent who has custody to take the child on a trip out of the country.
If the parents are separated or divorced and one of them has sole custody of the child:
  • the letter of authorization may be signed by that parent only and they should bring a copy of the custody decree.
 
If a minor child is traveling with a legal guardian or adoptive parents
The child should have a copy of the guardianship papers or the adoption papers (whichever one applies).
 
If a minor child is traveling with a person other than their parents or legal guardian
The adult who is not the parent or legal guardian of the child should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the child. The permission letter should include addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or legal guardian can be reached.
The letter does not need to be certified. A photocopy of the parents’ or legal guardian’s signed passports or national identity cards should be attached to the letter.
Note: The border services officer may not ask to see these documents when the child enters Canada. However, it is strongly recommended you bring them, in case that you are. The minor child will not be admitted to Canada if the officer is not convinced that the parents or legal guardian have authorized his stay.