I’m moving to Canada with kids…what do I need to know?
Glad you asked! There’s a lot that goes into moving to a new country, and if you have kids, the process can get a little more complicated. To help uncomplicated things, I have put together some helpful information to guide you through the process of moving to Canada with your kids.
Requirements for moving to Canada
First, you must have a specific reason why you are moving to Canada. For example, a husband and wife with two kids are moving because of he received a new job. Under his Canadian work permit, his spouse and his depending children may apply to come to Canada with him. Because his work permit won’t allow for him to live in Canada permanently, he will have to apply under a permanent immigration category, such as a skilled worker. Once he receives permanent residency, he can apply to sponsor his family so that they too can become permanent residents. You can determine your eligibility for Canadian immigration here.
The Citizenship and Immigration Canada website is great resource for learning the all the ways you can visit, study, work, or live in Canada. The information on this website will explain under which types of permits your children can come to Canada with you.
If you have more questions about immigrating to Canada, contact your state’s Canadian consulate. Here is a list with contact information of the Canadian Government Offices in the U.S.
Crossing the Canadian border with kids
According to the Canada Border Services Agency, children under the age of 18 traveling to Canada are classified as minors and subject to the entry requirements set out under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Each child should carry proper identification such as a birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, permanent resident card or Certificate of Indian Status. A passport is mandatory for all U.S. citizens flying into Canada. However, a child can use their birth certificate for identification if traveling by land.
If the child is traveling with only one parent/guardian, it is recommended that you have written permission from the other parent or guardian authorizing the trip. The letter should also include the address and telephone number(s) where the other parent or guardian can be reached.
If you are divorced or separated from your spouse and moving to Canada with your child, you must present the legal custody or separation documents and a letter of authorization from the other parent giving permission for you to take the child into Canada.
If one parent is deceased, be prepared to show border patrol the original death certificate.
The Canadian Government recommends that you talk to a lawyer for advice on what your child will require since every situation is unique. You should also be prepared to talk about why you are moving to Canada with your children.
Here are some great tips for moving to Canada with your children:
- Parents should travel in the same vehicle as their children when arriving at the border.
- Keep passports, birth certificates, and permission letters in the same envelope for easy access at the border.
- Keep in mind that Canadian border patrol is always looking for missing children. Be prepared to answer questions about your children.
- If the child is old enough to speak for themselves, the border guard may ask him/her questions about why he or she is entering into Canada. By preparing your kids to talk to the border guards about the move, they won’t be caught off-guard if they are asked questions.
If you have additional questions about moving to Canada with kids, we recommend contacting your state’s Canadian consulate or visiting the Canadian Immigration website.