Canadian Passport: 5 Things You Should Know

More Canadians than ever before are traveling internationally. There have been many changes in recent years and travel conditions continue to change. This article offers some insight into things that you should know about the Canadian Passport and the important role that it plays in travel abroad.

1. Travel to the United States

The most popular travel destination for Canadians is our Southern neighbor, the United States. For decades, Canadians entering the US needed only two pieces of identification including one photo ID, most commonly a driver’s license. In recent years this has changed and it is now a requirement that Canadian citizens flying to the United States must present a valid Canadian passport to confirm their citizenship and identity.

The Government of Canada continues to recommend that Canadian citizens carry a valid Canadian passport for all visits abroad, including visits to the United States. A passport is the only universally accepted identification document, and it proves that you have a right to return to Canada.

To find out how to obtain a Canadian passport, visit Passport Canada’s Web site (www.passportcanada.gc.ca).

2. ePassport – The New Canadian Passport

Passport Canada is introducing a new Canadian passport called ePassport on July 1, 2013, containing an electronic chip, and is available for a 5 or 10 year validity period. The fee structure for these new ePassports is as follows:

  • 10 year passport = $160.00
  • 5 year passport (or less) = $120.00
  • Children’s passport = $57.00

3. Simplified Renewal Process

If your previous Canadian passport is still valid or expired for no more than 1 year, you can use the simplified renewal process which eliminates the need for guarantors, proof of citizenship and proof of identity.

As per the Passport Canada website, you must include the following in your Canadian passport renewal request:

  • A completed Simplified Renewal Passport Application
  •  Your most recent Canadian passport (still valid or expired for no more than one year)
  • The required fee
  • Two recent photos. The photos do not need to be signed by anyone, but on the back of one photo must appear: the name and address of the photographer or studio, and the date the photos were taken.

You do not have to resubmit proof of Canadian citizenship, supplementary identification or guarantor information.

4. Requirements of Other Countries

Many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months following the period of your visit. Because each country sets its own rules, you should consult the travel reports of the countries you will be visiting to confirm their requirements.

5. Passport Canada Website

For detailed information on all aspects of the Canadian Passport, visit the Passport Canada website at www.passportcanada.gc.ca

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