The ePassport: What are the Changes for Canadians?

In the rapidly evolving world of travel, continued emphasis is being placed on security. The ePassport introduced in 2013 brings changes to the passport program that will enhance the security of Canada’s international travel document. This article explores what these changes mean for Canadians.

ePassport

On July 1, 2013, Passport Canada is introducing a new electronic passport or ePassport. According to the Passport Canada website, the Canadian ePassport looks like a regular passport, but has new security features that make the passport even more tamper‑proof:

  • An electronic chip embedded in the back cover of the ePassport stores the same personal information that you see on page 2 of the passport (except for the signature), the photo and a digital security feature that proves the passport was issued by the Government of Canada.
  • At border crossings equipped with ePassport readers, the ePassport is put into a scanner that reads the e‑chip. Border authorities not equipped with ePassport readers will continue to examine travellers’ passports as they do now, looking at other security features.

View Passport Canada’s video about Canada’s ePassport:

10 Year Validity

Applicants age 16 and over can apply for a 10 year ePassport, and a 5 year ePassport will also be offered. All children’s ePassports will be issued with maximum 5 year validity.

Application Requirements

Application requirements will not change with the new ePassport; however, the application forms will be modified to reflect the new fee structure and give adult applicants the choice between a 5 year and a 10 year Passport. These new forms will be posted online on July 1, 2013.

Fee Structure

Below is the new fee structure for Passport applications made in Canada, effective July 1, 2013:

10 year passport …………… $160.00

5 year passport (or less) ….. $120.00

Children’s passport ………… $57.00

Contact Passport Canada

For additional information on all aspects of the new ePassport, visit the Passport Canada website at www.passportcanada.gc.ca or call toll free: 1‑800‑567‑6868.

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