The Canadian passport is an official document that allows Canadians to travel internationally. Theoretically, passports are issued by the Canadian monarch but in reality, Passport Canada is the body that issues them.
Canada has six types of passports issued by the government.
To get a passport, you must first get a Canadian passport application form. Remember, there are different versions of the passport application form depending on where you’re applying and your age, so be sure to pick the correct one. Most passport applications are obtained at a passport center, post office outlet, or online.
Next is to get proof of identity. This can be any document issued by a federal, municipal, or provincial government and must include both your name and your signature. A previous Canadian passport may also be used, provided that it is still valid or is submitted within one year of expiration.
You must also get proof of Canadian citizenship. A birth certificate or a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship is required if you were born in Canada. For those born outside Canada, a Certificate of Citizenship, a Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad, a Certificate of Retention of Canadian Citizenship, or a Certificate of Naturalization is required.
Two identical copies of a passport-sized photograph must be submitted. The name and address of the photographer must be written on the back of the photo as well as the date when the photo was taken. Your guarantor must also sign the back of the photograph certifying that it is a true likeness of you.
Speaking of guarantors, all Canadian passport applications must be signed by one. Aside from the passport photos, any supporting documents should also be signed.
In 2007, Passport Canada made a few new rules regarding the renewal of Canadian passports as well as the eligibility of guarantors.
Starting August 15, 2007, Canadians may renew their passports using a shorter application form, two new photos, their last passport, and an application fee, provided that:
- they reside in Canada when they apply
- resided in Canada during their previous application
- were at least 16 years old during their previous application
- are in possession of a Canadian passport issued after January 31, 2002, valid for five years, and not reported lost, stolen, or damaged; it must also be issued under the person’s current name
For guarantors, the rule for eligibility has been somewhat relaxed since October 1, 2007. Guarantors can be Canadians who:
- currently hold a five-year Canadian passport; the passport can be valid or expired for no more than a year
- have known the applicant for more than two years
- are 18 years or over, and must have been 16 years or older when they got their own passport.
For more information regarding this article, read The Guide To Canada Passport.