2012’s unveiling of Canada’s new biometric passport standard, dubbed “E-Passport” by Canada’s Federal Government has been raising a variety of questions as Passport Canada guns to move towards the international standard that has already been adopted by many other countries. We’ve included some answers to some of the most recent questions we’ve received about this here.
Q: Will Passport Canada’s new passport increase wait times at borders if you’re entering Canada with your car?
A: There is no guarantee that it will reduce or increase a wait time via land at a border crossing, regardless of what part of the country you’re entering from. The primary aim of the new passport standard is to increase security and reduce fraud, however, it is more likely that it will introduce an efficiency with confirming the authenticity of a Canadian passport, so we’d consider it more likely that there could be less of a wait at a border crossing. Only time will tell of course. Once the program is rolled out, we’ll see firsthand if this is in fact the case.
Q: Will the new E-Passport chip be something that can be tracked? Is my privacy protected?
If by “tracked” you mean include some kind of GPS style function to triangulate your global position – no. It is a chip that simply stores and conveys a specific kind of data in a specific kind of way. No big brother aspect is involved.
Q: Can I still use my old passport if it is still valid?
Yes. The new standard will begin in 2012, and will only apply to new passport applications and renewals at that time. If you still have a valid passport when the program is introduced, you’ll simply be issued a new passport once the validity expires.
Q: How will the system work?
The new Canadian passports will include a digitized image, as well as digitally stored information on your place of birth and name, etc – all on the chip. They will also include a holographic image, and an issuing country specific code. All of these elements are confirmed via a passport reader to authenticate. Nothing really changes on the document holder’s end.
We encourage you to send us more questions about the new Canadian passport/E-Passport. Leave a comment or email us at info AT canadapassporthelp DOT ca.