Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

Children Traveling to Canada with Guardians

by Marianne
(Sebring Florida)

Question: We have 4 children who have a status of Termination of Parental Rights. They will be in our home for 3 months before we can adopt them. We want to travel to Canada for Thanksgiving. Can we get a judge's court order giving us permission (as we did for foster kids in the past) or do we have to have a passport? If we get passports, can we change their name etc. when the adoption is finalized or do we have to get new passports? Thanks.

Answer: Passports are required for all Americans who travel by air. For travel by land, passports are only required for those who are ages 16 or older. Minors ages 15 and younger can travel with evidence of U.S. citizenship such as a birth certificate and a photo ID.

Note, the Canadian Border Services Agency requires adults who travel with minors who are not their own children to carry notarized consent to travel from the parents or evidence of legal guardianship. In the case of Termination of parental rights, a court order would probably suffice. We recommend you contact the CBSA concerning this issue.

Contact the Canadian Border Services Agency

Concerning the passports and name change, you can apply for a name change after the adoption is finalized. However, minors must appear with both parents or legal guardians in order to apply for passports. If you have legal guardianship, you should have no problem getting the passports. If you do not have legal guardianship, there may be some complications in obtaining the passports prior to the adoption.

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travel with minor Vancouver Canada
by: Cora Ferdowsijah

Question: I have legal guardianship of my niece. She is 15 years old. We would like to take a family vacation to Vancouver Canada in June 2015. I read on some comments that if you are traveling to Canada by car a minor doesn't need passport as long I have court document is that correct?

Answer: Canada requires every visitor carry proof of citizenship such as a passport, birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, a U.S. Permanent Resident Card, or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification.

You should also carry evidence of legal guardianship.

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UPDATE: Mailing delays and high demand are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 8 and 11 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 5 to 7 weeks excluding mailing times on the front and back end. Current mailing delays are significant. Requesting 1-2-day mailing service is recommended.

Regional passport agencies are offering two types of appointments: Life-of-Death Emergency Service and Urgent Travel Service.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 3 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. ET, call 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, call 202-647-4000.

For Urgent Travel Service, you need to call 14 days before your scheduled international travel or 28 days if you also need to secure a foreign visa.

If you need to travel urgently for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency, please call the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. ET.

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