going through hong kong customs with 1 parent
- 04-06-2009, 11:21 PM #17Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
Yes, that is what I mean, a consent letter from my husband. All the info on the gov of canada website asks travellers to find out the requirements for where you are travelling and I was not sure about hong kong. It is not "required" in Canada, but strongly recommended, and last times I went through the border into Canada alone I was asked for the letter, where my husband was, why he wasn't with me, etc. The children were younger and they didn't ask them anything, but I have heard of customs ( in Canada) asking the children themselves if this is your parent etc. Now that my son is 5 I think they might start asking him. LAst ime we didn't really think of the letter until the day I left so it was not notarized, but it is recommended that it is notarized so this time I'll do that. I was suprised by the amount of questioning because we were entering canada to go home. I expected more of a problem leaving canada than entering it.
Here are some links for passprt canada about the letter you should have.
Passport Canada: Frequently asked questions
- 04-07-2009, 01:39 AM #18MLBW Guest
I checked on this when I went back to the States with my son last year. I even called the US Consulate here and asked about it. They said that you can get a notarized letter from the parent not accompanying the child but it would probably be a waste of time and money. So, I just took a simple letter with me that was signed by my husband and as my son has his own US passport, it really was no problem whatsoever, going in and out of the USA and also going in and out of HK. They didn't even request to see the letter.
- 04-07-2009, 01:40 AM #19
actually, it isn't customs that ask for the letter (customs & excise deal with taxation), it is immigration.
i've never been asked when leaving canada, rather when entering. i believe it is because they are afraid that you are removing children and trying to enter into canada having kidnapped your kids.
- 04-07-2009, 09:31 AM #20Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
- Tsuen Wan
Yeah, that`s exactly why a letter is required, bc of child kidnapping, and isn`t such a bad idea in a time of shaky marriages.
BUT - a letter is recommended, NOT LAW (for Canada) and it doesn`t require that the letter be notarised. Sure, they can question it all they like, but according to their boss, the GUVmint, we do not have to (go through the hassle and high cost to) have it notarised. And that is precisely what I think is laughable.
At any rate, I think the original poster`s question was about returning to HK alone, where she resides. And that doesn`t seem to be a problem, which is good for me too.
- 04-08-2009, 12:01 AM #21
like i said, it was only about $300 to have it notarised at the canadian consulate. you are right it isn't necessary, however, it is HIGHLY recommended. i have been questioned on more than one occasion when entering canada with my kids.
that being the case, i would think for hte peace of mind it provides, i would just get the letter.
it would be interesting to find out if they scrutinise children of mixed decent more than kids that are wholly one race...
- 04-08-2009, 12:21 PM #22MLBW Guest
It does cost a bit and it is a hassle--I was all set to get a notarized letter but it really does take quite a bit of effort to get it done and I think it was like 30-50 USD to have it done!
If the original poster was asking about coming back into Hong Kong--I can't visualize the HK Immigration people giving anyone any trouble over this--unless you are actually "wanted" by the law and there is an international warrant from Interpol out on you...then, well, you probably wouldn't be posting here, is my guess, right? Hong Kong customs is pretty lax, actually...they have never looked at or even searched my stuff or run it through an x-ray machine. In fact, coming out of the airport I've never seen anyone stopped and searched. So, overall unless you have a "suspicious" look about you (and who knows what that might be) then I'd say you're pretty well "safe" coming into HK without this type of notarized letter.
- 04-08-2009, 12:26 PM #23MLBW Guest
I think that $300 HKD and the hassle of going down to the consulate (which with the US Consulate can be a big hassle--not sure about the Canadian Consulate) for a letter that may not be looked at and can only be used on one occasion is still pretty spendy. But, I do think that Canadian Immigration is a bit more tough on people in this regard. If you're traveling to the States, though, I wouldn't even bother doing it. There are so many single parents out there nowadays and if your a mom traveling with a young child, you aren't out of the ordinary. Where I WOULD get a letter notarized is if my husband who holds a HK passport was traveling alone with my toddler son who holds a US passport--however they have the same surname whereas my surname on my US passport is different. I think it might appear more out of the ordinary to have a single male traveling with a young child.
- 04-08-2009, 03:03 PM #24
When I came into Hong Kong with my baby asleep in my ergo baby carrier (her face was buried into my chest), they didn't even want to look at her to see if she looked anything like the baby in the passport!! I'm sure I could have travelled with a completely different baby and no one would have questioned me at all - for real!! I didn't have any problems in Australia either, but they at least did want to see the baby there. They are always more thorough with customs and x-raying everything too...
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