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Can I Obtain A Canadian Passport If I Have An Outstanding Criminal Charge?

Posted Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 at 8:09 pm

This is a question we receive more often than not. There’s something called the Canadian Passport Order. The order is the federal government’s articulation regarding Canadian passports, and when they will not issue you one. We’ve had many phone calls and inquiries related to individuals seeking information on pardons and curious about whether some criminal charges they’ve received would hinder their ability to renew or apply for a Canadian passport. The answer to this question is – it depends. If you’ve been charged with an “indictable offence” in Canada – or – what would be considered an indictable offence in Canada. What is an indictable offence? An indictable offence is considered a serious offence.

There are three types of indictable offences in Canada;

  • Section 553 offences (less serious) are tried in a provincal court without a jury and the maximum penalty for these is 2 years. Examples of section 553 offences include breach of bail, mischief under $5000, theft under $5000,  or assaulting a peace officer.
  • Section 561 offences– These are considered moderately serious offences and the accused has a right to choose where they want the case to be heard and whether they want a jury. These penalties carry a maximum of 5-10, sometimes 14 years. Examples of section 561 offences include- sexual assault with a weapon, fraud over $5000, theft over $5000, arson, robbery, armed robbery.
  • Section 469 offences– these are always heard in a superior court by a judge and jury. The maximum penalty for these offences is generally life in prison. Examples of section 469 offences include 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder, manslaughter, alarming the majastey, treason, hijacking, kidnapping, hostage taking

The passage from the Canadian Passport Order is listed here:

(a) fails to provide the Passport Office with a duly completed application for a passport or with the information and material that is required or requested

(i) in the application for a passport, or

(ii) pursuant to section 8;

(b) stands charged in Canada with the commission of an indictable offence;

(c) stands charged outside Canada with the commission of any offence that would, if committed in Canada, constitute an indictable offence;

(d) is subject to a term of imprisonment in Canada or is forbidden to leave Canada or the territorial jurisdiction of a Canadian court by conditions imposed with respect to

(i) any temporary absence, work release, parole, statutory release or other similar regime of absence or release from a penitentiary or prison or any other place of confinement granted under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Prisons and Reformatories Act or any law made in Canada that contains similar release provisions,

(ii) any alternative measures, judicial interim release, release from custody, conditional sentence order or probation order granted under the Criminal Code or any law made in Canada that contains similar release provisions, or

(iii) any absence without escort from a penitentiary or prison granted under any law made in Canada;

(d.1) is subject to a term of imprisonment outside Canada or is forbidden to leave a foreign state or the territorial jurisdiction of a foreign court by conditions imposed with respect to any custodial release provisions that are comparable to those set out in subparagraphs (d)(i) to (iii);

(e) has been convicted of an offence under section 57 of the Criminal Code or has been convicted in a foreign state of an offence that would, if committed in Canada, constitute an offence under section 57 of the Criminal Code;

(f) is indebted to the Crown for expenses related to repatriation to Canada or for other consular financial assistance provided abroad at his request by the Government of Canada; or

(g) has been issued a passport that has not expired and has not been revoked.



9 Responses to “Can I Obtain A Canadian Passport If I Have An Outstanding Criminal Charge?”

  1. Rickey R Ites says:

    I have a 23 year old conviction for sale of cocaine
    (small amount) will this old felony hinder my chances
    for a passport to visit canada for 4 -5 days to go fishing with a very good friend who lives in Waterloo
    Ontario ?

  2. Katherine says:

    I have. Theft under 5000 from a few years ago will I be able to get a pass port to go on a family trip

  3. Aly says:

    I am being charged with theft under $5000. I have a valid passport in my possession now. Will I still be able to travel where ever I want, when ever I want ?

  4. kayla says:

    i have 2 assult charges can i get a passport and travel

  5. jayson bitz says:

    I have two trafficking a controlled substance and theft under 10,000. failure to attend trial and obstruction of a peace officer. and I able a a Canadian citizen able to be approved for a passport? I have no current charges or suspensions.

  6. Indra says:

    i live in malta and he would need a visitors visa to get into malta. its usaully stamped into your passport at the airport upon entry but if for some reason they dont give you one you will be sent back as entry would be denied

  7. Shawn says:

    I’ve been charged with fraud over 5,000 and have lost my passport. The matter is not closed. Can I apply for a new passport?

  8. kevin says:

    I have a criminal record its a assault charge cc 266 (B) only one charge is all I have back in 2006 it was 10 years ago will I get a passport in Canada its for work purposes doing long haul truck driving

  9. Mellissa says:

    My boyfriend was charged, three years ago, with smuggling. He recieved a $50,000.00 fine – no jail time.

    Can he get a passport?

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