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Travel with grandson

I have another question for you seasoned travellers to Cuba. We are travelling with our 12 year old grandson whom we have full custody of, with all the legal documents, he also has his own passport but it was issued in 2006 and he looks nothing like his photo and he has a different last name. My question is… Should I prep my grandson on what might happen at the customs, and can anyone suggest what that might be? Do they take you thru individually at customs or as a family?

As adults you will go through separately. Depending on how old he looks he might be able to go with one of you. As you go through you can look back to the people behind but not ahead as that door is solid. So if he has to go separately have one of you go ahead then him and the other after him. Have the one he gets most comfort from behind so you can see how he is handling himself . They are good some smile other do not - but if he is honest and polite - he will not have a problem

Thanks, I doubt there will be a problem, but just was looking for some input. Thanks again

Make sure you bring your legal documents with you “just in case!”

Also if his lastname is different then what is on his passport (I may of read your post wrong) Then you should call the passport office as I belueve you need to change it…

we were unable to adopt but we have full and legal custody with no access from either natural parent, quite complicated. we will have the court documents with us just to be sure. His passport has his last name on it. It took us best part of a year to get the passport because of situation. It is just his picture was taken when he was 8 and now he is 12 you can imagine quite a change.

Ah thats ok I don’t look like my passport picture or my drivers licence/healthcard… I would not be worried… Just don’t forget the documents!!! Hope you have fun with him on your trip!

I agree with Gambitt…passing through Cuban Customs is not the “ordeal” some make it out to be. He’s a child so I’m sure you won’t have any problems having one of you accompany him through Customs. I’ve found any Cuban customs officers I’ve dealt with to be polite and professional. Don’t worry and have a great time on your vaction.

Which airport are you going through?

Canuks we are going to Varedero! don`t know if there is more than one airport there… as for the comments I really appreciate the help and fell better that either the wife or I can be with him as he is ADHD and gets nervous in new situations but we have taken him to the Dominican twice and he did fine. I am sure once we get thru the Customs all will be well

Thanks again Ross

You won’t have any problem with the photo.
Cubans have kids too and know how their looks change.
Last time we were through Varadero airport the customs/immigration people were just fine.
If anything, you might check with Canada Immigration to be sure you can bring him back to Canada. And what paperwork they need.
Have a great trip.
Sorry I missed where you are staying.

This is directly off the Gov’t of Canada Site.

They have a sample consent letter available as well.


A consent letter proving that the child travelling alone or with one parent or guardian has permission to travel from the non-accompanying lawful parent(s) or guardian. A consent letter may be required even if separation or divorce documents award custody of the child to an accompanying parent while the non-custodial parent has legal access or visiting rights to the child. A separate letter should be written for every trip abroad and include contact information for the parent(s) or guardian. A child of divorced or separated parents who is travelling without either parent could carry a single consent letter signed by both parents or two separate consent letters signed by each parent. It is advisable to have the consent letter certified, stamped, or sealed by an official who has the authority to administer an oath or solemn declaration, so that the validity of the letter will not be questioned. A sample consent letter is provided as a model.
A copy of any separation, divorce, or custody decree.
A copy of a court order granting guardianship, if a legal guardian is accompanying the child.
A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, if only one parent’s name appears on the birth certificate, and the child is travelling with the other parent.
A certified copy of a death certificate, if one parent is deceased.