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will my nine year old need a passport/permission from his (absent) father to cross the border?

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i read that i can cross (land crossing) with my nine year old with his birth certificate. is this a 'sometimes' thing, like up to the individual co or is this always permitted?

also, my divorce document says i have sole legal custody and his dad is to have 'reasonable visitation'. do i need to get a notarized letter from his dad or will my divorce doc be enough?

just wanted to get some personal experience from you fine folks, thanks! :D

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Australia
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i read that i can cross (land crossing) with my nine year old with his birth certificate. is this a 'sometimes' thing, like up to the individual co or is this always permitted?

also, my divorce document says i have sole legal custody and his dad is to have 'reasonable visitation'. do i need to get a notarized letter from his dad or will my divorce doc be enough?

just wanted to get some personal experience from you fine folks, thanks! :D

The document stating "sole legal custody" is apparently all they'll need. Friend of mine didn't have it in writing and needed to go to court to get the legal document stating she had sole legal custody (even though the moron wasn't paying child support and disappeared years ago). You should be fine with that.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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i read that i can cross (land crossing) with my nine year old with his birth certificate. is this a 'sometimes' thing, like up to the individual co or is this always permitted?

also, my divorce document says i have sole legal custody and his dad is to have 'reasonable visitation'. do i need to get a notarized letter from his dad or will my divorce doc be enough?

just wanted to get some personal experience from you fine folks, thanks! :D

I can't answer you on the birth certificate. I thought a passport was now required.

On the custody front I can share my experiences. I have joint custody of my 8 yr old, and am on good terms with my ex. We give each other a notarized letter every year for travel outside the USA. Here's the kicker - Canada has never _required it_. 99% of the time I try to enter and I have it with me and they don't ask for it. On the one occasion (I travel to Vancouver, BC every week to see my wife - hence why I'm on this website) and the border guard just "gave me a talking to" on how this was important (it's not!) I'm sure a copy of your divorce agreement, showing custody, will be quite sufficient.

I also applied for a nexus card for my daughter (free for children) and they didn't ask to see the notarized letter then either. The lackadaisical way in which this has been implemented puts honest people through extra hassle but doesn't prevent anyone from kidnapping. BTW - when I took her to the UK the airline wasn't even interested in any such documentation, so it must just be North American craziness. It's also made foolish because during the summer about half my trips to Canada are via private airplane. The Canadian Customs have _NEVER_ come to inspect me on arrival. I call and they give me a number and say "welcome to Canada", even when my daughter is on board.

Good luck

Alex.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
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The document stating "sole legal custody" is apparently all they'll need. Friend of mine didn't have it in writing and needed to go to court to get the legal document stating she had sole legal custody (even though the moron wasn't paying child support and disappeared years ago). You should be fine with that.

I'm not really sure this is accurate information. Many of us in the Canadian forum can prove otherwise. I assume you're just talking about crossing the border and not the requirements for your K1?

Have a read on the Passport Canada website where they indicate that all children who are traveling require a passport: http://www.ppt.gc.ca/cdn/16-.aspx

I could almost bet that despite your having Sole custody, that does not mean that you don't require a note from the non-custodial parent at the border. My brother was recently traveling across the border driving with his daughters and he was still asked for the permission of the other parent...luckily he had planned ahead. The daughters both have passports as well (10 and 12)

We've got a few parents here in the Cdn forum who've been through this and what was required....I was one.

Edited by Udella&Wiz

Wiz(USC) and Udella(Cdn & USC!)

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******************

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12/2/09 - NOA's for self and daughter

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yeah. i was hoping to put off paying for my son's passport for a year or two. we (my son and i) are USCs and our website says that by land only his birth certificate is needed.. ultimately i want him to have a passport for him though. as for his dad, i'm sure i could get a letter - its just a matter of principle - i wouldn't want him to get on a power trip about his 'authority' (when he is a total deadbeat).

thanks for your help all..

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yeah. i was hoping to put off paying for my son's passport for a year or two. we (my son and i) are USCs and our website says that by land only his birth certificate is needed.. ultimately i want him to have a passport for him though. as for his dad, i'm sure i could get a letter - its just a matter of principle - i wouldn't want him to get on a power trip about his 'authority' (when he is a total deadbeat).

thanks for your help all..

Ahh, so you are the USC - then you're just talking about straight travelling :) The US rules aren't much different though according to the US passport site:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html

Bite the bullet and pay the $100 or so fee....it pretty much guarantees a little bit of peace of mind.......unfortunately you'll need the deadbeat's letter for a little while longer.


Wiz(USC) and Udella(Cdn & USC!)

Naturalization

02/22/11 - Filed

02/28/11 - NOA

03/28/11 - FP

06/17/11 - status change - scheduled for interview

06/20?/11 - received physical interview letter

07/13/11 - Interview in Fairfax,VA - easiest 10 minutes of my life

07/19/11 - Oath ceremony in Fairfax, VA

******************

Removal of Conditions

12/1/09 - received at VSC

12/2/09 - NOA's for self and daughter

01/12/10 - Biometrics completed

03/15/10 - 10 Green Card Received - self and daughter

******************

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Children under 16 traveling by land only need the Birth Certificates, but consent from the other parent is something you will want to have. They do tend to ask for it when traveling with only one parent. They don't always ask for it, but they are supposed too.


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FYI - in my case (Im a CDN) at Montreal, even tho my custody papers said "full custody with reasonable access" the consulate would not issue my visa until I had a custody doc that specifically said "sole custody". Mine also said that my ex had NO access and that I could travel and live outside Canada. In my case, I was told if I couldnt get that, I would DEF need a notarized letter of permission from my ex.

I know the OP is a USC, just thought I'd share my experience.

FYI - in my case (Im a CDN) at Montreal, even tho my custody papers said "full custody with reasonable access" the consulate would not issue my visa until I had a custody doc that specifically said "sole custody". Mine also said that my ex had NO access and that I could travel and live outside Canada. In my case, I was told if I couldnt get that, I would DEF need a notarized letter of permission from my ex.

I know the OP is a USC, just thought I'd share my experience.

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We live fairly close to the Quebec border and often make junk food runs over the border so hubby can get his KD and Smarties and such. We have never had a problem crossing with our son's birth certificate. Before the first trip we ever made, I called and spoke with border guards on both the Canadian and US side, where we would be crossing, and they both assured me that the birth certificate was fine for children under 16.

I don't have much advice about the divorce decree, but I will say that once, when my son was 8 months, my husband took him back to Vancouver to visit family (I couldn't go with them). They crossed the border by land and then flew from Montreal. The Canadian border guard did check to make sure that my husband had a notarized letter of permission from me.


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