Passport Canada is undergoing a process to update its fee structure. The organization needs to increase its fees so that it can keep pace with advances in technology and international standards and recommended practices, while continuing to provide excellent client service to Canadians. This has been acknowledged by both the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament of Canada and the Office of the Auditor General, who have stressed that more funding is required so that Passport Canada has the means to issue secure travel documents to Canadians.
Passport Canada’s new fee-for-service proposal includes the upcoming adoption of the electronic passport book, or ePassport (rollout is scheduled for completion by 2013) and the fact that Canadian adults will have a choice of 5- or 10-year validity.
Passport Canada is preparing to begin issuing all new passports as electronic passports, or ePassports. Issuance of ePassports will begin before the end of 2012; the exact timelines will be announced at a later date. This higher-security passport will have an electronic chip embedded in the book. The chip is an extra security feature that will enhance the Canadian passport’s current security features, which include holographic images and a hidden photo of the bearer that can only be viewed under ultraviolet light.The new fees are scheduled to come into effect in 2013. Pending parliamentary review and completion of the regulatory process, the new fee structure will take effect in 2013.
Passports: Applications from US
With consular fee
Add consular fee
|5-year passport (or less)||
|Infant passport (0-3 years)||
Replaced by children’s passport
As residents of the United States, you may have heard the the CUPW (Canadian Union of Postal Workers) has gone on strike with the Canada Post corporation. This means, if you have an existing application that was mailed via USPS prior to the strike start, your submission will have been delayed with a series of circulating strikes. Today, Today (June 14th, 2011) Canada Post has locked out it’s employees, effectively stopping mail circulation in Canada. This is only in Canada, however, if you’ve snail mailed your application into Passport Canada via the United States Postal Service, a complete stoppage in mail would delay your application’s reception by the Government of Canada.
We recommend submitting your application via international ship or courier at all times to ensure it’s timely reception by the Federal government of Canada, however we realize this is not always possible. If you have any questions – contact us.
The answer to this question is yes, you are. If for whatever reason your passport is stolen or lost, you are required to report it to Passport Canada directly. Canadian authorities will conduct an investigation into the circumstances of the lost or stolen passport.
If you find a passport, including your own passport that you previously reported as lost or stolen, you must immediately do the following:
- Notify Passport Canada and the local police if you reside in Canada. The found passport must be returned to Passport Canada.
- Outside Canada: Notify the nearest Canadian government office abroad and return the found passport to that office.
If your passport has endured damage you could face delays or even rejection at border crossings. We suggest that you apply for a new passport if your current passport is damaged. You must also apply for a new passport if your current passport is destroyed or inaccessible.
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.
Effective February 11th, 2011 – Passport Canada will no longer be accepting hospital issued birth certificates as supplemental for applications for your Canadian passport.
Only the following proof of citizenship documents will be accepted to support a general or child’s passport application:
- “Birth certificate” issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics agency;
- “Certificate of birth” issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics agency;
- “Certificat de naissance” issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics agency; or
- “Certificate of citizenship” issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
If you’re intending to travel – these administrative changes must be taken into account. As a resource to our customers, we list the Canadian Vital Statistics offices – by province – in our Help section.
It’s official. The Canadian federal government has begun the process of ramping up for the deployment of Canada’s first electronic passport – also known as the biometric passport or ePassport. The plan is to have the new Canadian passports in circulation – widely regarded as more secure and using almost impossible to reproduce biometric technology – by mid 2012. What are the main defining differences between the current Canadian passport and the new one yet to be introduced? The biometric chip – your identity in a microchip. Also referred to as a the “proximity contactless chip”. The chip will be embedded into the passport page, and can only be read by a chip reader within 10 cm of scanning. The chip will contain your name, date of birth, and a digital version of the photo used on the physical page. Customs officials will match the information on the chip with what is physically stated on the passport page. Initially there had been some talk about the passport chips containing iris scans and/or fingerprint information on passport holders, however after an issue having been raised concerning privacy with the Canadian Privacy Commissioner, it looks as though the only information that the new passport chips will contain will be a photo and your identity essentials. Although not official yet, it is widely speculated that the new ePassport will have a vailidity of 10 years versus the standard 5 years currently.
Canada will be the world’s 9th largest issuer of electronic passports by 2014 once the system has been up and running for 2 years. Passport Canada is still surveying the public for information on the new program, and it is anticipated there will be a tabling with Parliament on the results of the surveys by early next year.
We’d love to hear your thoughts or comments. Comment or contact us.
We get regular questions related to the NEXUS card. We decided to dedicate a post to explaining what the NEXUS program and card are about.
If you’ve ever crossed the American/Canadian border, you’ve probably seen the lane for NEXUS card holders. You may have also seen NEXUS terminals at an airport. The NEXUS card is an alternative method of crossing the border – also fulfilling the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. It’s ideal for those of us who regularly travel between nations or for those who commute between the United States and Canada for work. The NEXUS card program is a partnership between the Canada and U.S. border services, but NEXUS cards are issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The program was created to streamline customs and immigration clearance for pre-screened, low-risk, frequent travelers. The card proves identity and citizenship and thereby acts as a substitute for a passport for entry into Canada for U.S. citizens (and vice versa). Anyone can apply for a NEXUS card, however, you must be interviewed and need to qualify.
NEXUS card holders are identified at land border crossings by presenting their cards for scanning and at airport kiosks by undergoing a biometric securtiy check – a retinal recognition scan. With that said, not all airports accommodate NEXUS card holders.
The NEXUS card is NOT meant to replace a Canadian passport. It is also NOT a replacement for your passport. It grants you no special privileges. Technically, even if you carry a NEXUS card – even though you won’t be asked for your passport at a U.S. border - you still need to have it with you. You cannot travel internationally with a NEXUS card. It is meant only to facilitate entry and reentry between the United States and Canada.
Questions? Let us know…contact us or email us at info AT canadapassporthelp.ca
Are you a single parent? Travelling with a blended family? Are you familiar with the essentials of what you need prior to traveling? Surprisingly, fewer people than you’d think are actually in the know with the things you need to present to a customs agent if only one parent is traveling with a child. Concerns about child abductions have made governments around the globe very cautious when only one parent is traveling internationally with a child who is a minor (under the age of 16). Child abduction is an increasing occurrence, and customs and border agents have been trained to be on the constant lookout with anything even remotely suggesting that only one parent is aware that a child is travelling. Here are some tips for important items to include if you are traveling without your child’s other biological parent.
- Besides your passports, you should bring a written consent from your child’s other biological parent.
- Indicate the flight number on the consent form so there is a clear acknowledgment of where you are going, as well as when and how you are coming back.
- The consent form must indicate your name and contact information.
- You are required to have the consent form witnessed and notarized by a lawyer.
- You will need your child’s birth certificate.
These required basics are in essence permission from the other parent. If you’re without them, your travel can be compromised.
We’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences with respect to traveling solo with your child. Share or leave a comment!
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.
A regular question we get asked by some clients is whether a rush 24 hour passport can be obtained. The short answer to this question is YES, however there are conditions. This is a difficult predicament to be in, and even though possible, we always recommend reviewing your passport’s validity and keeping on top of it in an effort to avoid a stressful last minute situation if for some reason you must return home.
You cannot enter Canada without a valid Canadian passport, nor can you enter the country with an expired passport, however there are conditions where you can enter the country without the essentials provided you have one of at least two important pieces of identification. A Canadian birth certificate or Canadian citizenship papers. If you were born in Canada, but cannot find your original birth certificate, we can guide you through the process with obtaining one via a Vital Statistics office in Canada, which can be visited online. You can visit our Vital Stats page in our help section for an list of offices in your home province.
There are no Canadian passport offices in the United States, and you cannot have a passport issued by a consulate unless it is an absolute emergency. A death in the family constitutes an emergency, and is really the only reason why a consulate would issue you an emergency passport. An important job interview or a family reunion will be declined requests. You can view the list of consulates in the United States here. Keep in mind, that you would be required to visit the consulate personally, and, if you do not have either a birth certificate or Canadian citizenship papers proving you are Canadian, they will not issue you an emergency passport even in the event of a family death. Again, the importance of staying on top of the validity and current standing of your Canadian passport is essential even if you are living in the United States on a full time basis or have been for a long period of time. We tell clients regularly – if there is any reason to return home, keeping your passport in check is one of the best things you can do to avoid a stressful situation.