A passport is an identity document that allows a person to enter another country. It's the best way to prove that you're a Canadian citizen.
You can still travel to some countries without a Canadian passport, but this is becoming more and more rare. To avoid problems, it's a good idea to have a valid passport.
How to Get a Passport
You must be a Canadian citizen to apply for a Canadian passport, and you must file a passport application with Passport Canada.
The process for getting a passport, or renewing one, depends on whether you're
Passport Canada's website explains the different situations.
For Canadians living in Canada or the United States, there are two different ways to get or renew a passport:
Passport Application and Renewal
These are the steps to get or renew a passport:
1. Complete and sign an application form. You can get the form from a Passport Canada office, a post office or online. Complete all sections except for the "Guarantor's Declaration."
2. Ask your "guarantor" to complete and sign the "Guarantor's Declaration" section of the application form. A guarantor is someone who knows you and can confirm your identity. Guarantors must meet ALL the following criteria:
3. Submit these items with your application:
4. Send your application, along with the documents listed above and the passport fee, to a Passport Canada office. You can also bring them in person.
Simplified Renewal Process
In some cases, you can renew a passport using the "simplified renewal process." This process lets you renew your passport without having to resubmit proof of citizenship, identity documents or a guarantor's declaration.
You simply provide these documents:
To be able to use the simplified renewal process, you must meet all of these conditions:
For any passport application or renewal, you must send the required documents by mail or bring them in person to a Passport Canada office.
How Long an Adult Passport Is Valid?
An adult passport is valid for five or 10 years. It's best to renew your passport before it expires. Otherwise, you'll have to make an application for a new passport, and you won't be able to use the simplified renewal process.
Children Need Their Own Passport
Children, even newborns, must have their own passport. Passports for children under 16 are valid for five years.
To obtain a passport for your child, complete an application ("child general passport application" form) and submit it with all the required documents and fee to Passport Canada.
Travel to the United States
You don't always need a passport to go to the United States. It depends on whether you're travelling to the United States by sea, land or air.
By Land or Sea
You need one the following documents:
To learn more about these documents, go to the travel section of the Government of Canada website.
If Your Passport Expires While You're Away
Passport Canada says you should not go on a trip with a passport that will expire while you are away, or will expire shortly after you return. To learn more, contact the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit before you leave.
Some countries refuse to let people enter if their passport will soon expire.
Lost or Stolen Passports
If you're in Canada when your passport is lost or stolen, contact Passport Canada and the local police. Explain the circumstances surrounding the loss or theft of your passport.
If you're outside Canada when your passport is lost or stolen, report the loss or theft to the nearest Government of Canada office and to the local police.
For more information on what to do if your passport is lost or stolen, visit Passport Canada's website.
Before You Leave Canada
It's a good idea to take the following precautions before you leave:
A visa is a document that a country gives to a foreign person. It lets that person enter the country and stay temporarily on its territory.
You need a visa to enter some countries. To find out whether you need a visa to enter the country you want to visit, go to the "Country travel advice and advisories" page of the Government of Canada website. From this page, you can also get general information and advisories about most countries.
Applying for a visa can be a very long process, so make sure to give yourself enough time. The cost of a visa varies from country to country.
Content used with permission of Educaloi. Last reviewed: March 2016
IMPORTANT: This page provides legal information, not legal advice. If you need legal advice consult a lawyer.
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