Are you looking to apply for the Canadian Passport? Well then, this article is right for you.
First of all, as an immigrant, becoming a Canadian citizen is a big deal so congratulations. The next big step will be to put in an application for your Canadian passport.
While there wouldn’t be a problem using your old passport to leave Canada, a Canadian passport will be required of you to get back into the country. That’s why it’s important to get your Canadian passport.
A Canadian passport is valid for different periods of time. It depends on the age of the passport holder:
adult (16 years of age or over): five or 10 years, depending on which you choose
children (0 to 15 years of age): five years
Talking about the top 10 passports in the world ranked by the Global Passport Index, the Canadian passport positions fourth sharing this same position with countries like Austria, Belgium, and Switzerland.
Canadian passport holders are offered free entry and exit out of Canada as long as it is in agreement with the visa requirements. Let’s begin.
Why should you get the Canadian Passport?
First of all, as a Canadian passport holder, you can visit 114 countries visa-free.
Canadian citizens who are 16 years and above are qualified to send out an application for the Canadian passport while guardians or parents are expected to put in an application for the passport on behalf of your kids.
The Canadian passport is usually valid for a period of 5 or 10 years for individuals who are 16 years and above and 5 years for children below the age of 16 years.
So the question really is, how do you put in an application for your Canadian passport? To have an idea of what the application process entails, I’ve come up with a detailed step by step guide on how to carry out submitting your Canadian passport application.
But before that, let’s have a look into the requirements and documents required for the adult and children’s Canadian passport applications.
An ePassport is also known as a biometric passport. It looks like a traditional passport book, but it has an electronic chip that is encoded with the same information found on page 2 of the passport (surname, given name, date of birth and sex). It also has a digital picture of the bearer’s face.
The electronic chip:
reduces the risk of fraud
provides greater protection against tampering
Canadian Passport Requirements for Adults
First of all, If you’re an adult and reside in Canada, you’re expected to have the following documents to apply for the Canadian passport:
Duly filled and finalized the Canadian Passport application form
Evidence of Canadian citizenship
Means of Identification which must be government-issued and valid. Your name, sex, date of birth, signature, and photo must show on the ID. The ID can either be photocopies or original. In case you submit the original, do not worry, it will be returned back to you.
Last but not the least, two similar passport photographs that meet the Canadian Passport photo specifications
Next, If you’re born in Canada you will be required to have;
- The birth certificate, which can either be short or long-form and from the territory or province you were born in Canada.
If you’re not born in Canada, then you will need to have your;
Your certificate of naturalization
Certificate of retention of citizenship of Canada
Certificate of birth registration abroad
In the case where your gender isn’t specified on your evidence of Canadian citizenship, you will also need to fill, complete, and submit a gender identifier form.
Furthermore, if you reside outside Canada and want to apply for a Canadian passport, you are expected to provide all the above documents.
However, only original documents will be endorsed which will be safely returned back to you. Extra information and documents may also be required of you as the case may be.
Please note that all documents to be submitted must either be in English or French. If this is not the case, then get a certified translator to translate the documents on your behalf.
Canadian Passport Requirements for Children
Parents looking to travel with their kids (15 years and under) must apply for the child’s passport.
To do that, certain documentation is required for the child and parent. The documents to be provided include:
Completely filled and finalized the Canadian Passport application form
Your evidence as to the child’s parent
Evidence to prove the child’s Canadian citizenship
Last but not the least, evidence of custody, divorce, or separation
Let’s break it down.
If you are the Child’s Parent
To prove the relationship between you and your child, you are required to provide evidence.
In order to do so, the required documents can include:
Birth certificate of the child that must be in long-form and from any territorial or provincial vital statistics office in Canada.
The birth certificate your provide must show the parent(s) name(s).
Please note that in addition to the birth certificate, a duplicate of the birth registration must also be included if the child is born in Ontario or a copy of an “act of birth” if born in Quebec.
Also, note that the birth certificate can always be used as evidence of the child’s Canadian citizenship
an adoption order issued by the court that carries the name of the adoptive parent(s)
a foreign birth certificate carrying the parent’s name(s) if not born in Canada.
In situations where the surname filled in the application form differs from that on the evidence of parents, documents must be provided to show the connection between the two surnames.
These documents that can be provided include:
certificate of marriage
certificate of common-law relationship
evidence of change of surname
Other documents can also be requested if needed on a case basis.
However, you do not need the evidence of parent if:
the child already has a travel document already and
the new passport is being applied for by both the parents
Even though you won’t be required to submit the evidence as a parent, you will still be required to provide the evidence of Canadian citizenship which can be in the short-form birth certificate rather than the long-form as mentioned before.
Evidence of child’s Canadian Citizenship
One of the following documents is required by you to prove that your child was born in Canada.
certificate of birth from the territory or province in which your child was born
certificate of Canadian citizenship issued by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Remember, the certificate of Canadian citizenship must be provided if your child was born outside of Canada.
If your child is born in Canada, you can always get in touch with the vital statistics office in the province where your child was born to request a birth certificate.
In the case where your child’s sex isn’t specified on your evidence of Canadian citizenship, you will also need to fill, complete, and submit a gender identifier form.
Evidence of custody, divorce, or separation
In a child’s passport application where both parents are divorced, they must both be willing to
take part in the passport application process
put down signatures where and when necessary
be available when contacted
As a legal guardian applying for the child’s passport, it is essential that you’ll:
involve other legal guardians in the application process
provide evidence of legal guardianship
In case where a court order has been issued concerning the child’s custody, the parent with the custodial rights can only put in an application for the child’s passport.
If the court agreement settles in joint custody, either of the parents can apply.
Please note that all documents that pertain to the child’s mobility, custody, and access must be provided. And if the divorce has been approved, a duplicate of the divorce order must also be provided.
Canadian Passport Application Process
In this section of the post, I’ve outlined the step-by-step process to apply for the Canadian Passport.
You shouldn’t travel with a passport that will expire during your trip or shortly after your planned return. To avoid problems while travelling, you should get a new passport before leaving if your passport could expire around or during your travels.
Some countries won’t allow you to enter if your passport expires shortly after your planned return date. To find out more about entry and exit requirements, consult the:
Step 1- Fill and finalize the Canadian Passport Application form
You need to first download the Canadian passport application form onto your computer, complete it and then have it printed out.
Please note that each page of the application form must be signed by you. (Or else the application will be returned back, and you’ll have to redo the entire process and send it back, so avoid it in the first place).
Step 2- Compile all the necessary files and documents and make sure to take passport photos
Make sure you compile every document that is required for the passport application. The exclusion of any document can lead to your passport application being denied.
Also, the Canadian passport photo requirements are pretty strict with the exact dimensions, so get that right as per specs.
Step 3- Look for a guarantor and two references
The IRCC will always look at verifying your identity and that’s why you’ll be required to provide good references and a guarantor.
The guarantor is usually reached out to during the application process. So better inform him/her. You can’t just get anyone to be your guarantor as there are requirements to be met by an individual, who is willing to stand as your guarantor.
To qualify as an applicant’s guarantor, the individual must meet the below requirements:
he or she should be a Citizen of Canada and must meet the minimum age requirement of 18 years and above
he or she should be an acquaintance to you for a minimum of two years before the passport application date
finally, they should possess a Canadian passport that is valid or has not expired for more than a year
Your family member can always be your guarantor.
In the case where you’re applying on behalf of your kid, you cannot be the guarantor.
The individual who is willing to sign as a guarantor must know you for a minimum of 2 years and also know your child.
Canadian passport application guarantor is expected to:
Put a signature on the guarantor category of your passport application
Confirm the applicant’s identity and sign on one the passport photographs
Sign on all duplicates of the original documents supporting your identity.
In situations where you’re unable to get a guarantor, you will be mandated to fill the PPTC 132 form which you can acquire from the passport office nearest to you.
An individual approved by the constitution to administer a solemn declaration must assert the PPTC 132 form as well as sign it.
Just like the guarantor, the references must also follow the basic set of requirements.
In order to do so, the references you provide on the passport application must be from individuals who are:
not standing as your guaranty
18 years and above in terms of age
acquaintance to you for a minimum of two years
not your family members
In addition, the references you provide must also be willing to:
provide consent to you for using their contact info (name, address and phone number) in your application form
should be available when called for verification
It is important to note that an individual listed as a guarantor cannot be listed as a reference on the same Canadian passport application.
Step 4- Submission of the documents and payment of fees
Let’s break this down into two sections:
1. Submission of Canadian passport documents within Canada
Submission of documents for your Canadian passport application can be done in three ways:
personally at the nearest passport office
by mail or
through pick up services (attracts extra fees)
If you’re looking at getting your Canadian passport urgently, you will need to apply in person and also at pay the extra fee for immediate processing.
As of 2018, the basic fees charged for Canadian passports are:
$120 for an adult passport with a 5-year validity
$160 for an adult passport with a 10-year validity
$57 for a Child passport (newborn to age 15)
Submitting the Canadian Passport Application by Mail
To submit the Canadian passport application by mail, it is always recommended that you make use of a traceable courier or mail service to be able to monitor your application package. (After all it’s your passport application, better be safe than sorry.
If you are taking the main route to send your application, you are required to send the application to the address you will find on the Canadian passport website.
in person at a passport office: 10 business days
in person at a Service Canada receiving agent: 20 business days
by mail: 20 business days
This doesn’t include mailing time.
Payment of fees when using mail or courier
You can make payments through;
Prepaid or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, and American Express)
Money order or Certified check
Payments must be made in Canadian dollars with the exact fund indicated.
Please note that personal checks, cash, and debit cards are not approved.
Submitting The Canadian Passport Application – In person
It is always recommended to submit your passport application personally to the passport office nearest to you.
Note that, It is not compulsory you have to submit the application personally, a third person can also do that for you, however, they must be able to provide the answers concerning about your application.
Failure to give the right information will see your application getting rejected. So It is important that you prepare the third party going on your behalf.
In situations where you require the application to be processed urgently, you will have to submit it personally.
Service Standards for urgent and express service :
urgent pick-up: by the end of the next business day
express pick-up: 2 to 9 business days
Payment of Passport fees when using mail or courier
You have three options to pay for the Canadian passport. The options are:
Prepaid or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, and American Express)
Money order or Certified check
Note that, the payments must be made in Canadian dollars with the exact amount mentioned.
You cannot pay for the Canadian passport application through personal checks or cash.
2. Submission of documents from outside of Canada
There are two instances:
first, sending your Canadian passport application from the United States
second, sending it from any other country apart from the United States
Let’s look at both these options in detail now.
In case if you reside in the United States, your documents, fees, and application form can only be submitted via mail.
It is recommended you use the mail service or courier with tracking option as you will be sending your original documents.
In case if you’re sending the Canadian Passport application from another country apart from the United States, your documents, fees, and application form must be submitted to the Government of Canada office nearest to you.
You can always go to the Passport Canada website to have more comprehensive information about the duration of the application process and how to make urgent requests.
Step 5- Receive your Canadian Passport
Once your application is all good and approved, you’ll then receive your Canadian passport.
Your Canadian passport can be collected in two ways; in person or by mail.
Receive the Canadian Passport Personally
If you choose to pick the Canadian Passport in person, the pickup date will be given to you in prior, so you know the exact date and time.
You can either go by yourself or send a representative.
However, the representative must carry the authorization note and valid proof of photo identity.
Receive Canadian Passport through Mail
If you have submitted your application through mail, your original documents including the passport will be sent back to you via mail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Canadian passport.
How long does it take to process the Canadian passport?
Ideally, the application process takes a duration of 10 days if you apply in person. Through mail, it takes anywhere between 20-25 days.
However, due to COVID-19, the Canadian passport application process now takes a period of almost six weeks.
Can I possess two Canadian passports at the same time?
No, you can’t have two passports at the same time except if you have dual citizenship.
As such, you can have a current passport each from both countries.
With a valid Canadian passport on hand. When is it ideal to apply for a new passport?
You can apply for a new Canadian passport once your current passport has a validity of 12 months or below.
You should note that the unused period of validity of your current passport won’t be transferred to the new one if you apply before the current one expires.
Can I extend the validity of my Canadian passport?
Extensions to the Canadian Passport validity service was cancelled in 2010.
Individuals are no longer allowed to extend the validity of their passport. To get full validity, you’ll have to apply for a new passport.
Can more pages be added to my Canadian passport?
This service is also no longer available.
An individual with a valid passport with all pages filled up will have to request a new passport.
Is it possible to replace a destroyed or damaged Canadian passport?
A destroyed or damaged passport will have to be submitted at the Canadian passport office closest to you.
A filled and finalized application form must be brought along with what’s leftover of the damaged passport.
Where can I get the application form for the Canadian passport?
The Canadian application form is always available on the Government of Canada website to download.
You can also visit the passport office closest to you to pick a form.
What should be done if my Canadian passport gets misplaced or stolen?
In case your Canadian passport gets lost or stolen, you need to immediately file a report at the local police station, and then contact the passport office nearest to you.
There you go, that was my in-depth take on the Canadian passport and how to apply for one.
I hope, I have covered everything you need to know about the Canadian passport and in case I have missed something please let me know in the comment section below. I’ll answer them for you.
Please share this article with friends and family if you find it helpful. Thanks for reading!
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Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.