Canadian Passport Application
Are you a Canadian who’s planning to travel to beautiful Caribbean and Asian beaches? Eager to venture to Europe or Asia for business purposes? Before you can do these, you must apply for a Canadian passport first.
Importance of Canadian Passports
Every Canadian citizen who wishes to travel abroad, or even just cross the borders to the United States must have a Canadian passport. It’s the official document that’s internationally accepted as evidence of a Canadian citizenship. Canadian passports, along with proper visa requirements, are very important, since they also serve as personal identification.
Canada Passport Applications are issued by Passport Canada, an independent operating agency. The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs federal government recommends Canadians to carry passports with a validity of at least six months when traveling abroad. Canadian passport application is fairly simple, although it requires certain proper procedures and requirements. If you need to get this document, here are some guidelines to help you out.
Types Of Passports
In Canada, Passport application depends on the type of passport you want to have. There are six main types available today, and these are:
- Regular Passport (Navy blue) - Issued to citizens for vacations, business trips and occasional travel. Its validity period depends on the passport holder’s age.
- Temporary Passport (White) - Issued through Passport Canada to citizens who have a proven and urgent need for an interim passport
- Frequent Traveler Passport (Navy blue) - More ideal for those who travel frequently, such as businessmen. Although its validity period is the same as a regular passport, it costs a bit more.
- Special Passport (Green) - Given to Canadian government representatives, who travel for official business. If you’re a member of the Parliament, Privy Councilor, public servant, provincial cabinet member, Canadian Forces members on duty abroad or non-diplomatic delegates, you can opt for this Canadian Government passport application.
- Emergency Passport (One page only) - A document issued to Canadians who will return directly to Canada or who needs to venture where full passport services can be obtained.
- Diplomatic Passport (Maroon) - Given to top ranking government officials, Canadian diplomats, diplomatic couriers, and official diplomatic delegates.
Getting Application Forms
Procedures for Canada passport application are relatively similar, but not everyone needs the same type of form. Application forms for Canadian passports depends on where you apply, as well as your age and citizenship. Before you proceed and fill up an application form, check Passport Canada’s website first, if you’re obtaining the right type.
- Canada passport application forms are available at
- Canadian passport offices
- Certain Service Canada centers or Canadian post office outlets
- If you’re outside Canada, from a Canadian consulate office
- Online. They can be obtained in PDF forms. You can print them, fill them out, then submit them. Online passport forms can also be interactively filled out, then dated, printed and signed. Submit them with your supporting documents in person or through mail. When filling out your Canadian passport application form, make sure you select the right form, and fill them out properly and carefully. Don’t leave out any important detail.
After accomplishing your Canada passport application, you must now prepare the required supporting documents. These, along with your processing fee and photo, will be submitted to Passport Canada. Make sure you’ve got all these documents, beforehand, as well as enough time in case you need to update or renew any of these.
- Proof of Canadian Citizenship - An original proof of Canadian citizenship is needed. If you’re born within Canadian territories, submit a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or your birth certificate. If you’re born outside, a Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Retention of Canadian Citizenship or a Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad will suffice.
- Proof Of Identity - To support your Canadian passport application, submit one identification document, issued either by a provincial, federal or municipal government. This must have your signature and name. One valid example is the provincial driver’s license. You only need to submit photocopies (both sides), with your guarantor’s signature.
- Other Travel Documents - Travel documents issued during the last five years must be submitted. If you have a valid Canadian passport, enclose it with your application. If your passport is expired, there’s no need to submit it. If you have an existing passport that will expire 12 months or more after your application date, submit a written explanation why you’re going to apply early.
Canadian Passport Application For Children
Canada passport application for children is different compared to adults. Kids, even newborns, must not be listed on their parent’s passport, and should obtain their own. Parents must fill out a separate form for their child.
References And Guarantors For Your Canadian Passport Application
You need a guarantor to sign your application. This is required for all Canadian passports applications. A guarantor must be someone whom you’ve known for at least two years, and must be at least 18 years or older. He should also have a valid five-year passport or one that is expired but less than a year of the time of your Canada pass port application. Your guarantor will write a declaration saying all the information you stated is valid and true. He or she can be a family member and must be accessible to Passport Canada.
If you live abroad, the guarantor for your Canada passport application must be someone whom you’ve personally known for two years, and should live in the jurisdiction of the passport-issuing office. He should be easily contacted by the passport office. Another requirement is that he must be a member of a profession (practicing lawyer or doctor) listed in the required passport application form of Canadians living abroad.
Aside from guarantors, you also need two references. These are neither your guarantor or relative, and should know you for at least two years. Submit their addresses, names and phone numbers, along with your Canadian passport application. Passport Canada must be able to contact them.
Photo Requirements For Canadian Passports
Have your passport photo taken, and have two extra copies ready. You can get this cheaply and easily from numerous photo processing stores. Your photo must be taken within 12 months of your application. For children, at least one month before the application. Follow the set standards to make sure your photo is acceptable.
Write the name and address of the photographer, and the date taken, behind the photo copies. These should also be signed by your guarantor.
How much you pay for your Canadian passport application depends on where you applied it, and the type of passport. Check the application form and it will include the processing fee. You can pay in person (if using cash) or include the cheque when you mail your form.
If you’re in the United States, fees should be paid in Canadian dollars. They can be paid through credit card, international money order, certified cheque, or traveller’s cheque. It should be payable to the Receiver General for Canada.
For those in Canada, you can pay by debit card or cash, if submitting the form in person. You can also pay through credit card, money order or certified cheque.
If you’re neither in Canada nor the United States, pay your Canada passport application fee in your local currency, and check the exchange rate with your local passport issuing office. Payments can be through cash, cheque, or international money order. Make it payable to the Canada Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.
Submitting Your Application Form
You can submit your Canada passport application in person or through mail. If doing it personally, submit it to a Passport Canada office, a Service Canada center, or a Canada post office. If doing it by mail, obtain the proper address and use a courier service.
Those outside Canada can submit their forms in person at a nearby passport issuing office, or from where you got the application form.
Waiting For The Passport To Arrive
After finishing the application process, all you have to do now is wait. The time period before your passport gets approved depends on where you apply, the amount of current applications and the time of year. In Canada, passport application off-peak season is between June to November. Apply during these months if you want your passport to arrive quicker.
Passport Canada online has services that allows you to check the status of your application. Check their website, if you think yours is taking too long.
Canadian passport application can be a time-consuming process, but if done properly, you’ll reap the benefits when you travel abroad. Just remember to keep the document safe at all times, and renew it, regularly. Happy traveling! If you want to know more about Canada, read The Guide to Canada and for a bonus here’s an article that let’s you learn how to prepare for international travel.