We’ve been going through a lot of this lately, host families wanting to take kids to the states, or kids going out of Canada with school trips. In the past I’ve been requesting a notarized document from the natural parents, plus a release for for me that includes liability and a demand that the student buy extra medical insurance.
Last week I talked to a real person (!) at border services who said that I, as legal custodian could sign a letter. There is a sample on the border services website called “Consent Letter for Children Travelling Abroad”. We made this a fillable form and it takes two minutes to pop in the details. Border Services said it would hold more weight if it was notarized, but it isn’t really necessary. The student should also take a copy of the custodial document.
Thus, there are three documents:
1. Natural parent signs the release form (I accept it via email)
2. Student/host family completes Consent Letter Form and brings it to be to sign
3. Student takes the consent letter and a copy of the custodial document when he/she travels.
I HOPE this is okay – if nothing else it helps my stress level.