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Single parent travel to Canada from UK

6 replies

nedsmam · 02/02/2020 19:39

I was about to booked a trip to Canada from the UK for me and my 8 year old DD. I am a single parent and my daughter was born from an anonymous donor so we do not know her father and no father recorded on her birth certificate. Canada seems to be very strict on single parent travel but all the official online advice presupposes there is a father somewhere on the scene who could consent or where a court order is in place. Does anyone have any experience

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DazedandConcerned · 02/02/2020 22:01

As a Canadian I apologise for our government, they are not fit for purpose.

I've tried to look through the website RE visitors visas and can find every situation apart from "sperm donor."

If you are in London can you head to the High Commission?

Also, have you tried applying for an eTA?

Frankly, nothing surprises me about that country anymore. I can't even go home because I don't keep my Canadian passport active. I really hope it gets sorted for you and you have a lovely vacation.

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nedsmam · 03/02/2020 20:33

Thank you for the reply. I have emailed the official site though seems to be the message on the site that you should consult a lawyer if the site does not address the issue. Not really what I had in mind from a family holiday! thank you.

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Menaimum · 03/02/2020 20:50

CDN/UK citizen my child needs notarised permission from her UK father to come with me and I carry her passport, birth certificate, ID with addresd and parental consent letter when we travel. Before I formalised her dual citizenship she also had to have an ETA. The interpretation I make of your situation is
1 her UK passport will link to her ETA which specifies her birth certificate and her parent. You're the only one listed on that as parent therefore you're the only one who can accompany her without a consent letter.
2 Your UK passport will link to your ETA.
Both ETA will have permanent address which will match.
3 Always travel with both birth certificates (yours and hers), proof of address (photo license)
4 make sure she is ready to be questioned by border officer e.g.
"X who is this person"
"This is my mummy"
"Where is your father"
"I don't have a dad just my mummy"
They might ask a trickier question like "what's your mother's name" but at 8 she knows right?

And finally...it takes a few days to get an answer but email the CDN high commission in London to confirm all this. You don't need a lawyer for this! Have a brilliant time.

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okiedokieme · 03/02/2020 20:58

Carry her full birth certificate (not the short version) as there's no father listed then you will be fine. We got asked (dd was 17, old enough to travel solo in Europe) and they accepted our word of mouth explanation

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SJaneS48 · 07/02/2020 13:37

I had a pretty horrible experience when eldest DD was 2 coming into Toronto and spent 3 hours (pretty tearful at one point!) in questioning in immigration. It was just after a kidnapping incident and they were being super cautious. DDs father was off the scene (and quite frankly, off the planet exploring himself!) so I had no idea where he was.DD wasn’t old enough to explain she wasn’t being snatched!

I have friends and relatives in Canada and used to live there briefly so the next time I went back I had both our birth certificates and a letter I’d written stating under UK Law I had sole guardianship of DD. I got this witnessed and stamped by a solicitor. I had absolutely no problems getting through immigration that and subsequent times.

As DD’s birth certificate will show no father, you probably won’t get the hard time I got but I would really recommend having a back up stamped by a solicitors letter stating you have full and sole guardianship.

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StonedRoses · 09/02/2020 10:49

What happens to single parents who are widowed? They can’t get permission from the afterlife

FWIW I flew to Canada (Calgary) with my DS alone when he was just six and my DW couldn’t join us for a few days. As it was last minute I never thought of letters etc. I was just asked what the purpose of our visit was (skiing) and that was it. No problems at all

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