If you are travelling with kids as the solo adult and leaving or entering a different country, you may need a consent letter for travel.

What is a consent letter for travel and why do I need one? We have answers to those questions and some other frequently asked questions below, plus a sample consent letter for travel to download below.

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A consent letter is a letter giving permission for children to travel abroad without both parents present. Whether the child is travelling with only parent, alone or with another adult, the letter states that all parents have given permission for that child to travel abroad.

Anytime a child is travelling without both parents, a consent letter may be needed. If there is only parent on the birth certificate, or one parent is deceased, birth and death certificates will replace the need for a consent letter.

Although it’s not a legal requirement to carry a consent letter, it’s a good idea to carry one when travelling solo with kids. Immigration authorities may ask for a consent letter when entering or leaving a country and may refuse entry or exit if there is no documentation of permission from the other parent.

There is no specific consent letter format, but there are details which should be included. Here’s  a template you can download to create your own consent letter!

The consent letter should be signed by the parent(s) who are not travelling with the child. This means that both parents need to sign, regardless of whether the parents are separated, divorced or have not been married. This applies whether there is joint custody or sole custody.
**If the other parent has been denied access rights, a copy of the court order will take the place of a consent letter, but be sure to carry it with you when travelling abroad with your child!
**If there is not a father on the birth certificate, then a consent letter is not needed, but the long form birth certificate will need to be presented, stating that there is only one parent.

In addition to signing the consent letter, it should be witnessed by a notary if possible.

>> Download your free consent letter template here <<

Although this letter will work in most countries, please be sure to check your country’s immigration policy be travelling solo with your children. Some countries may require a letter to be legally certified or to be translated into a language other than English.

  • Child’s full name
  • Birth date, gender, place of birth
  • Child’s passport number
  • Travel details – destination, length of trip, travel dates
  • Parent/Legal Guardian names
  • Contact information of parents
  • Names of adults travelling with (if neither parent)
  • Signature of both parents, dated
  • Witness signature, dated


  1. I am a single mom to my 11 yr old son since he was born as his father totally abandoned us after givig his surname to my son. I am planning to study in Canada this 2024 as an aspiring international student, bringing my son as my dependent, but the embassy is asking for my son’s father parent travel consent to approve my son’s visa. I dpn’t know what to do. I have no communication at all to my son’s father, and he is a Thai citizen. Please help me.

    1. You would have to check with the Canadian embassy, as they’re the ones with the final say on the visa. I hope it works out for you and think you will love studying in Canada!


    What if i do no anything about the father of my son?

    1. If there is no other parent listed on the birth certificate, you can just show a copy of the birth certificate in place of the consent letter (it must be the long-form birth certificate, where it shows only one parent)

  3. Louise Jones says:

    My son is coming on holiday with me but no longer sees his dad, but has his surname. Can I take him without consent?

    1. It’s always a good idea to have a consent letter, as any country can ask, although many do not. Where are you going on holiday?

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