Unaccompanied Parental Approval for Child Immigration

Immigration Law, Notary Services
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Unaccompanied Parental Approval for Child Immigration

When immigrating to Canada with a minor, the involvement of both parents or guardians is crucial, even if one is not accompanying the child. Canadian immigration law mandates that the consent of all official guardians is obtained to ensure the child’s best interests are safeguarded. This consent is primarily documented through a specific form, IMM 5604 E. In this article, we will explore the importance of this form, the situations in which it is required, and provide a detailed guide to completing it effectively.

Understanding Parental Consent for Child Immigration

The IMM 5604 E form, known as the Declaration from Non-Accompanying Parent/Guardian for Minors Immigrating to Canada, is a crucial document required during the immigration process for minors. This form serves as an official statement from the non-accompanying parent or guardian, giving their consent for the minor child to immigrate to Canada. It ensures that both parents or legal guardians are aware of and agree to the child’s relocation, thereby safeguarding the child’s best interests and adhering to Canadian immigration laws.

Who is Considered a Minor?

In Canada, the definition of a minor varies by province. Generally, a minor is anyone under the age of majority, which differs across regions. Here is a breakdown of the age of majority in different provinces:

  • Under 18 years old: Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan.
  • Under 19 years old: British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon.

Example: An 18-year-old in Ontario would not be considered a minor and would not require the IMM 5604 E form for immigration. However, an 18-year-old in British Columbia would still be considered a minor and would need the form until they turn 19.

Purpose of the IMM 5604 E Form

The primary purpose of the IMM 5604 E form is to prevent potential legal issues related to child custody and abduction. By requiring this form, Canadian immigration authorities ensure that the non-accompanying parent or guardian consents to the child’s immigration, which helps in maintaining the integrity and legality of the immigration process. This form is especially important in cases where the parents are separated, divorced, or otherwise not jointly immigrating with the child.

Example: Consider a scenario where a mother and her child are immigrating to Canada, but the father remains in their home country. To ensure that the father is aware of and agrees to the child’s immigration, the mother must submit the IMM 5604 E form signed by the father.

Key Features of the IMM 5604 E Form

  • Consent Documentation: The form documents the non-accompanying parent’s or guardian’s consent, confirming their agreement to the child’s immigration.
  • Legal Compliance: It ensures compliance with Canadian immigration regulations, preventing potential custody disputes.
  • Proof of Awareness: The form acts as proof that both parents or guardians are informed about the child’s move to Canada.

Importance of the IMM 5604 E Form

  • Ensuring Child’s Welfare: It confirms that both parents or guardians are involved in the decision-making process, prioritizing the child’s welfare.
  • Legal Safeguard: Helps in avoiding legal complications related to custody and parental consent.
  • Streamlined Immigration Process: Properly completed forms prevent delays and ensure a smoother immigration process.

Example: If a child is immigrating with their mother but the father is not accompanying them, the Canadian immigration authorities need assurance that the father consents to the child’s immigration. The IMM 5604 E form provides this assurance, ensuring that the immigration process proceeds without legal hurdles.

In summary, the IMM 5604 E form is an essential document for minors immigrating to Canada without one of their parents or guardians. It ensures that the non-accompanying parent or guardian is aware of and consents to the child’s immigration, thereby safeguarding the child’s interests and complying with Canadian immigration laws.

Who Should Complete the IMM 5604 E Form?

The IMM 5604 E form must be completed and signed by the non-accompanying parent or guardian. This form is crucial for providing their consent for the child’s immigration to Canada. Also, the non-accompanying parent or guardian must provide a notarized copy of their passport. This ensures the authenticity of his identification.

Examples:

  • Divorced Parents: If parents are divorced and one parent is not accompanying the child, the non-accompanying parent must complete the IMM 5604 E form.
  • Lost Contact with Parent: If the non-accompanying parent cannot be contacted but has not lost their parental rights, the form is still required.

Exceptions to Submitting the IMM 5604 E Form

In certain circumstances, it is possible to bypass the requirement for the IMM 5604 E form. This exemption applies when one parent has a court order granting them sole custody of the child. In such cases, the accompanying parent does not need the non-accompanying parent’s consent for the child’s immigration.

Sole Custody with Court Order

When a parent has sole custody as determined by a court, they have the exclusive right to make significant decisions about the child’s welfare, including immigration. The court order must explicitly state that the custodial parent has the legal authority to make these decisions without requiring the other parent’s consent.

Example: A mother has been granted sole custody of her child by a court. The court order clearly states that she has the right to make all decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. In this scenario, she can proceed with the immigration process without needing to obtain or submit the IMM 5604 E form from the non-accompanying parent.

It is important to ensure that the court order is up-to-date and explicitly grants sole custody. Any ambiguity can result in delays or complications in the immigration process. If there is any doubt about the sufficiency of the documentation, seeking legal advice.

Role of a Notary Public and Commissioner of Affidavit

A notary public or commissioner of affidavits plays a crucial role in the process of completing the IMM 5604 E form, as notarization is mandatory. At MBLAW, we assist by:

  • Notarizing the IMM 5604 E Form: Ensuring the form is authenticated and properly executed.
  • Witnessing Signatures: Providing a legal witness to the non-accompanying parent’s or guardian’s signature.
  • Virtual Notary Services: Offering online notarization services for convenience and compliance with legal requirements.

By utilizing our services, you can ensure that your form is completed accurately and legally, preventing any delays or issues in the immigration process.

Booking and Appointment Process

At MBLAW, we offer both in-person in Toronto and online notary services. Here is how to proceed:

  1. Book an Appointment: Schedule a meeting with a notary public or commissioner of affidavits.
  2. Choose the Meeting Format: Decide whether the appointment will be online or at our Toronto office.
  3. Presence of Non-Accompanying Parent: Ensure that the non-accompanying parent attends the appointment.
  4. Identification Documents: The non-accompanying parent must bring two valid photo IDs.
  5. Verification and Notarization: The notary will verify the identity, ensure understanding of the form, and then notarize the signature with their own signature and seal.

Navigating the immigration process with a minor can be challenging. If you need assistance with the IMM 5604 E form or any other immigration-related documents, book an appointment with MBLAW today. Our team is here to provide you with the support and expertise needed to ensure a smooth and compliant immigration process for you and your child.

Form IMM5604E, Immigration Canada, Immigration Process, Notary Public
Disclaimer

The Content is current as of its original date of publication, but should not be relied upon as accurate, timely or fit for any particular purpose. Content is provided solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to be legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. You are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of MBLAW (or your own legal counsel) in relation to your specific legal issues.

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