Are you a Canadian citizen getting ready to travel abroad this year? Now is the time to check and see if you need a Canadian passport renewal. Though the government tries to make this process as easy as possible, it is a good idea to start on your application form sooner than later.
You can simplify your experience by knowing the correct information. Read on to see what you need to know before packing your bags.
Due to fluctuating travel restrictions during the pandemic, Canadians should still expect delays in their passport renewal process. High interest in travel creates a backlog of calls and applications, which bog down passport offices.
Avoid the frustration of delays by submitting your application as soon as possible. Officials at Passport Canada recommend waiting to reach out for renewal until call volumes decrease. Unfortunately, some travel plans are urgent, and you may need to consider ways to streamline this process.
Qualifying for Passport Renewal in Canada
Citizens enjoy few restrictions to qualify for a Canadian passport.
Adult passport renewal requires you to have a current passport issued within the last 15 years. Children under the age of 16 will need to apply separately for a new child's passport.
Renewing a passport also requires you to have the same essential identifiers, including:
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
If you wish to change this information, you cannot renew your current passport. However, passport offices can issue you a new document with updated information.
The Application Process
Plan your application submission to correspond with the dates you travel. A Canadian citizen who plans to travel within 3 to 45 business days can book an appointment at the passport office. Renewal can sometimes take up to two weeks.
If your trip is within the next two days, you will need to visit the passport office as soon as possible. They will provide more information about what you need to do to receive the proper permissions quickly. Canadian citizens living in the United States can apply by mail or contact the nearest Canadian government office.
Your Canadian passport renewal will need some updated information to proceed. Make sure you get an up-to-date photo of yourself. The photographer also needs to provide basic information like their name and address.
You will need two references who have known you for at least two years. The Canadian government requires references who are not relatives. These requirements protect the identity of the traveller and the safety of the countries in which they travel. Along with providing information, Passport Canada requires an application fee which can cost up to $160.
Passport services may request additional information during a renewal or new passport application. These documents may include further proof of your identity. Typically, citizens can present the following:
- Drivers license
- Military ID
- Valid healthcare documents
- Valid foreign passports
All of these should be able to validate basic information about your identities, such as your name and birth date. Keep these items accessible in case you need them during your application.
Canadian passport renewal requires two references, but you also need a guarantor to sign off on your application. Unlike a reference, this person can be a relative. They must be above the age of 18 and willing to share their own valid passport details.
Guarantors verify the passport holder's identity and act as a contact should they lose their document or need help during travel.
Stolen, Lost, or Destroyed Passports
Recent policy changes require Canadian citizens who lose their passports due to theft, damage, or misplacement to apply for a new one. Because you need proof of your existing document and ID number before renewing, a missing passport can cause problems.
Thieves may take passports in an attempt to steal identities or sell them to third parties. The references and other information you provided during the application process make this significantly more difficult for them.
If you lose your passport while travelling abroad, contact the nearest Canadian government office or embassy. Authorities will guide you to the proper channels.
Submitting Your Renewal for Approval
Submit your application once you input all the correct information and documents. You can apply via mail in the United States and other locations, but this varies depending on the country. Reach out to the nearest Government of Canada office for guidelines on mailing applications.
When living in Canada, most people have access to a Service Canada office in their province that will take submissions directly. Give your application to the appropriate authorities and prepare to wait for notification of acceptance. Processing time is likely to take several weeks during the current state of high volume requests.
If you do not have time to wait on lengthy processing, you should immediately visit your local passport office.
Once the office approves your information, your document is valid for the next ten years. Keep your new passport secure with you during all your travelling and avoid leaving it in harsh environments that may conceal or damage pertinent information.
More Considerations Before Travelling
Canadian citizens enjoy the benefits of universal healthcare. Ensure you are getting the proper care you need before and after travelling. Insurdinary will help you identify and compare your provincial health care options so you and your family can travel with confidence.
It's best to plan ahead. If you would like more information on competitive health rates for disabilities or group plans, check out HealthRates.ca for detailed information. You can find a wide range of insurance services that suit you and your family.
Our company helps thousands of Canadians understand the ins and outs of their insurance, loans, and mortgages to get precisely what they need. We make shopping for deals accessible by giving an in-depth analysis of specific services. Don't wait another day to get the best insurance quote for you. Reach out to Insurdinary online to start today or to learn more about Canadian passport renewal.