How to apply for a Canadian passport

Now most COVID restrictions have been lifted around the world, many people are starting to book holidays abroad. If that’s your case, know that one of the main documents you will need to do this is your passport. As a Canadian citizen, you have the right to apply for one. 

Have you checked if you have yours? After not using it for so long, it wouldn’t be surprising if you found out your passport has expired or has been lost. If this is your case, you are in the right place.

In this article, we’ll explain the procedure, processing times, cost, and everything else you need to get your Canadian passport and be able to start planning that holiday trip abroad. 

APPLYING FOR A PASSPORT FOR THE FIRST TIME

To obtain a Canadian passport, you must be a Canadian citizen over 16 years of age.  Although the forms and documents you need to submit may vary depending on where you live, in general you must:

  • Fill out an Adult Passport Application Form directly on your computer
  • Provide proof of Canadian citizenship by means of a birth certificate, a citizenship certificate, or a certificate of naturalization. 
  • A document to prove your identity (like a national ID, a foreign passport, a driver’s licence, etc.). You can follow this link for a full list of official accepted ID documents. 
  • Bring 2 identical passport photos (the photographer must write their name, address, and the date when the pictures were taken on the other side of them)
  • Find a guarantor. They must be a Canadian citizen over 18 and they need to have known you for at least 2 years. The guarantor can be a family member. You can learn all the requirements a guarantor must meet here
  • Provide 2 references. Note that they can’t be related to you and they must have known you for at least 2 years.
  • Pay your fees by credit or debit card (either in person or by filling out the payment section with your card details on your application form)

NOTE: if you’re applying for your child, you must fill out a Children’s Application Form instead, and provide proof of your parentage. You won’t need to provide references but you will still need a guarantor. 

I ALREADY HAVE A PASSPORT: CAN I RENEW IT?

Applying for renewal is easier than applying for a new passport. You can apply to renew your passport if you hold an adult passport that:

  • has been issued with a 5-year or 10-year validity
  • isn’t damaged, reported lost or stolen
  • has the same identity information (name, gender, date of birth, and place of birth)
  • has expired on or after February 1, 2019

NOTE: if you are unsure as to whether you qualify, you can check the requirements for renewal by answering some questions

If you meet the requirement and you want to renew your passport, you must:

  1. Submit your most recent passport with your application so it can be cancelled
  2. Complete and print an Adult Simplified Renewal Passport Application form
  3. Bring 2 identical passport photos 
  4. Provide 2 references
  5. Submit your application to the address indicated below and pay your fees

HOW CAN I APPLY TO RENEW MY PASSPORT OR GET A NEW ONE?

You can choose to apply either:

  • by mail. This option may delay your application. You must send the requested form and documentation to:

Government of Canada

Passport Program

Gastineau, Quebec K1A 0G3

  • in person. You must choose this option if you need your passport in less than 25 business days). Due to COVID protective measures, you must make an appointment before turning up. 

HOW MUCH DOES THE PASSPORT COST?

Adults can choose between two passports: a 5 or a 10-year valid one. Depending on what passport you apply for, you can expect to pay the following fees:

Type of passportValidity periodCost
Adult passport (age 16 or over) 5 yearsC$120
Adult passport (age 16 or over)10 yearsC$160
Child passport (0 to 15 years of age)  5 yearsC$57

If you need to replace a valid stolen or lost passport, you will have to pay an extra fee of C$45. You can also pay an extra fee of C$110 to collect the passport in person by the end of the next working day, or C$50 to obtain it between 2-5 working days. 

PROCESSING TIMES

Processing times depend on the way you chose to apply. If you applied by mail, you will receive your new passport and the documentation you sent by mail after 10 working days. Note that there are considerable delays due to the ongoing effects of the Pandemic.  If you’ve been waiting for over 20 days, you can check the status of your application here. 

If you applied in person and paid for pickup service, the pickup date will be indicated on your receipt. You can authorize someone to pick up your passport for you. They must come with a valid ID and your written authorization. 

Now you know the requirements, cost, processing times, and how to apply for a new Canadian passport or renew it. Remember that due to COVID-related reasons, processing times may be delayed. So make sure you leave enough time to obtain it before your departure. Have a safe flight!

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