Unlocking Travel Possibilities: How to Apply for a Canadian Passport?

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Sampritymondal Arnab Travel
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According to the Passport Index 2023, the Canadian passport is ranked 7th, providing visa-free access to 116 countries, visa on arrival for 49 countries, and eTA for six countries, totaling 171 destinations. Canadian passport holders must obtain permits before entering about 27 goals globally.

You can apply for a Canadian passport online or from a passport office.

This article will discuss how to apply for a Canadian passport in detail.

1. The Canadian Passport 

The Canadian Passport is an essential document issued to Canada’s citizens. After fulfilling the visa requirements, they can enter and re-enter Canada freely when traveling from or to another country. All Canadian passports are issued by the Passport Program of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

Before 1 July 2013, Passport Canada, an independent operating agent that worked under foreign affairs and international trade in Canada, issued all Canadian passports.

For every person, passports are valid for five to ten years, which applies when they age 16 or older. For children under 16, it is suitable for only five years.

According to a 2022 report, about 70% of Canadians have passports.

In addition, Canada allows dual citizenship through the Citizenship Act of 1977. If you meet the requirements, you can have multiple citizenship without preceding your Canadian citizenship.

If you need help with your Canadian passport, you can check it out on their official website. All information regarding passport arrangements is available there.

how to apply for a canadian passport
Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

2. How to Apply for a Canadian Passport Online

The process of applying for a passport is relatively straightforward.  Follow the steps mentioned below for a successful application:

  1. Start by gathering all the necessary documents, such as:
  • Citizenship certificate (proof that you are a Canadian citizen)
  • A photo ID for identification, such as a driver’s license
  • Two copies of the same picture for the passport that was taken within six months
  • Your previous Canadian passport, if you had one
  • Supporting documents if there are changes of any sort in personal information
  1. Create a Government of Canada account by going to the official website of Canada.ca. This account will help you apply for a passport online and access other services.
  2. To continue with the passport application, log in to the Government of Canada account and go to the passport application form. Fill it up accurately. The application will need personal information, contact details, travel history, and references.
  3. The application process varies depending on the type of passport and the processing time you choose.
  4. The payment mainly includes credit cards or online banking. After you pay, you must keep the receipt in your records.
  5. Scan and take clear pictures of the required documents to ensure they meet the size requirements.
  6. Once done with the application process, select the processing time for the passport. Regular processing of passport applications submitted in Canada is ten business days at a passport office or Service Canada Centre that offers 10-day processing and 20 business days at a regular Service Canada Centre or by mail.

You can also select how and when you want to receive your passport. Along with the services, you can choose between regular mail or in-person pick-up.

Check all the information once again and verify it. If you have opted for express delivery, you will receive your passport sooner. However, regular delivery might take longer, especially during peak travel season.

2.1 How to Track Your Application  

To track your application, follow the steps mentioned below –

  1. Log in to your Canada.ca account and check on track the status of my application. The passport office also often sends emails regarding the progress of the application.
  2. Once everything is done and approved, your new Canadian passport will be mailed to you, or you will be notified if you choose the pickup option.

2.2 Some Final Tips 

  • Ensure that all the information you submit matches all your supporting documents.
  • Follow the photo requirements carefully, as they must be completed on time.
  • If you have any questions about the application process, contact the passport program through their official website.

The online application process for a Canadian passport primarily involves creating a Government of Canada account, completing the application form by filling in all the documents, paying fees, submitting the application, and then checking the application status. Following these simple steps, you can apply for a Canadian passport online.

3. How to Apply for a Canadian Passport Offline

If you are uncomfortable submitting your passport application online, visit their service Canada center or the passport office. If the application is complex, you must go to the Passport Office.

In Canada, over 300 passport centers help you submit your passport. Some locations are busier than others at certain times of the day.

It is always recommended to check the walk-in wait time at the passport office. The office mainly prioritizes people who want their passports within 48 hours.

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Photo by Romain Dancre on Unsplash

3.1 Finding a Passport Office

Head over to the Canadian government’s passport service website. You will need to scroll down till you get the question of when you need a passport. Once done, click on Find Locations, and you will find location details like:

  • What type of passport office is it
  • Name of the building
  • Address
  • City
  • Working hours
  • Language preference
  • They offer Services, including delivery by mail, standard pick-up, express pick-up, and urgent pick-up.

3.2 Types of Applications that the Service Canada Center Can Process

The passport office handles several different types of passport applications:

  • Renewal application for the passport.
  • Adult passport application.
  • Application for children’s passports. In this case, both parents should be present.
  • Application for a child passport if one parent is present (this process can only be followed when only one parent is named on the child’s birth certificate or when the death certificate of one of the parents is submitted).
  • Application for change in name in passport because of change in relationship status.
  • Passport application for Canadians who are living in America.

3.3 How Does the Passport Office Operate

The passport office does the following:

  • Accepts your application for the passport.
  • Please review the application and ensure that it is completed.
  • Collects and verifies all other necessary documents, including:
  1. Photo
  2. Citizenship certificate
  3. Identity documents
  • Once verified, they will accept payment for fees.
  • After this, they send the application for further processing.

3.4 Applications that are Accepted in the Passport Canada Office 

All applications accepted by the Service Canada center are accepted in the passport office. Along with that, some complex applications are also accepted here, such as

  • Urgent applications
  • Children’s application if only one parent is participating
  • Application from Canadians who are not living in Canada and the USA.
  • Applications that ask for a change in name on the passport. However, you must have at least one Canadian citizenship document with the changed name as proof.

As mentioned earlier, you might have to come to the passport office if your passport is complicated.

The IRCC employees make all final decisions about applications.

4. How to Apply for a Canadian Children’s Passport  

The process for applying for a Canadian Children’s Passport is straightforward. Just follow the steps mentioned below.

  1. Start by downloading the children’s application form.
  2. Each guardian must sign the application form to complete the application. Some tips for that are:
  • Read all the documents carefully until the end to ensure you have done everything required. You can contact the passport office for a particular form if you wish to have instructions in Braille.
  • Gather all the documents, including the child’s passport photo, travel document in the child’s name, and two copies of the same passport photos of the child, with their name, address, and date on the back of the image.
  • The guardian will also have to sign on the back.
  • You will also need proof of parentage.
  1. Find a guarantor. When you apply for a child’s passport, you will need a guarantor to sign on the applications and one of the passport photos. The guarantor must know the parent well for at least two years and be familiar with the child.
  2. When applying for the form, submit the fees.
  3. After this, you can complete the process without or with offline appointments.

4.1 Submitting with an Appointment 

You must follow these steps to complete the process with an appointment.

  1. You will have to complete the online Service Canada form.
  2. Fill in the required information.
  3. Click on the passport service and request an appointment with the passport service office.
  4. Check on the desired box if you want to apply in person.
  5. Service Canada will call you back to finalize your appointment.

4.2 Submitting without an Appointment 

To complete the process without an appointment, you have to do the following:

  1. You can visit the passport office if you need a prior arrangement.
  2. This facility is not guaranteed and is sometimes not available in busy locations.
  3. Someone else can apply if you can’t submit your application.

The fees you pay depend on the service you receive. However, you won’t get a refund if –

  • If you cancel your child’s application
  • You don’t have a travel document

Once the application has been verified, you will receive your child’s passport.

If you apply by mail, you will receive the passport and all original documents you submitted in your traceable mail, and they might arrive in two different packages.

If you went and applied in person and paid for the pick-up service, the pick-up date will be mentioned in your receipt. A third party can pick up the passport by issuing a written consent form and valid identification from the applicant.

Children’s passports usually have a shorter validity period.

4.3 Additional Tips

Children under 16 can sign their Canadian passports; the signature block on page 3 should be left blank if they do not. If a parent signs it on behalf of the child, the passport will be invalidated.

There is no specific encouragement for children above 11 to sign; any child under 16 can choose to sign their passport.

how to apply for a canadian passport
Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

5. Renewing your Canadian Passport

If you already have an adult passport, you can renew your passport very quickly. The process is much simpler than creating a new one.

Canada unveiling new passports and online renewal

A passport can be renewed even if it is expired or damaged. You can also restore lost or stolen keys. This is possible if it was issued within 15 years of the date you applied and you meet other requirements.

The reason why renewing a passport is more accessible than creating one is that you will not need the following:

  • A guarantor
  • Proof of your Canadian citizenship
  • Supporting information for verification

If your most recent passport has yet to expire, then

  • It should be sent in with your renewal application.
  • It will be canceled, and you cannot use it for traveling once you get a new passport.

Only adult passports can be renewed. If you are 16 or below, you must apply for a new child passport.

However, you can renew your passport if you are older than 16.

6. In The End

The authorities have tried their best to make this process easy for the citizens. On their official site, you will have to answer simple questions such as when you need the passport, when your most recent visa was issued, and whether it has expired, and you will have to answer with the options stated.

After answering everything, you will get your form and all the required information to complete.

The passport is a vital travel document, and you must always have one issued, regardless of travel plans. It is also a recognized proof of ID accepted by organizations worldwide. Therefore, knowing the correct application process for or renewing a Canadian passport is extremely important.

For more detailed information about these processes, check out Canada.ca.

Last Updated on by Namrata

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