Obtaining a child's passport in Canada
Everyone needs a passport to travel internationally, including minors, even though they generally travel with their parents. This article will explain the basics of obtaining a child’s passport in Canada.
Table of contents
- Canada child passport application
- Documents needed to apply for a Canadian child’s passport
- Canada child passport processing time
- Canada child passport fee
- Canada child passport renewal
- Canada child passport guarantor
- Canada child passport photo requirements
Canada child passport application
The way you apply for a passport depends on where you are and how soon you need the travel document.
Applying from Canada
- If you need the passport in 2 business days or less, visit a passport office;
- If you need the passport in 3 to 45 business days, book an appointment or visit a passport office;
- If you need the passport in 46 business days or more: visit a Service Canada Centre or apply by mail.
Applying from the US
Apply by mail or contact the nearest Government of Canada office in the United States if you need a passport urgently.
Applying from outside Canada and the United States
Apply at a local Government of Canada office abroad.
Documents needed to apply for a Canadian child’s passport
Whichever way you choose to use, the list of required documents is as follows:
- A filled-out application form;
- Proof of your child’s Canadian citizenship. This can be a long-form birth certificate or a citizenship certificate;
- Proof of parentage or proof of legal guardianship (if applicable);
- All documents that refer to the custody of, mobility of, or access to the child;
- Any valid Canadian passport or other travel document issued in the child’s name;
- Two identical passport photos of the child that fulfil requirements;
- On the back of one of the photos, the photographer must write their name, their complete address and the date the photos were taken. Your guarantor must also sign the back of this photo.
Canada child passport processing time
The processing time depends on the way you apply.
- For passport office applications: up to 2 weeks plus mailing time;
- For Service Canada Centre and mail applications: up to 9 weeks plus mailing time;
- For application by mail from the US: up to 9 weeks plus mailing time.
Canada child passport fee
The minor passport cost is CAN$ 57 for applications inside Canada
These are the available payment methods:
- credit card or prepaid card (Visa®, MasterCard® or American Express®);
- debit card;
- certified cheque or money order (postal or bank) in Canadian funds, with the exact amount made payable to the "Receiver General for Canada".
Canada child passport renewal
A child’s passport cannot be renewed. When it expires, you need to apply for a new one with these same procedures.
When the child turns 16, they can apply for an adult passport, which can be renewed.
Canada child passport guarantor
A guarantor is needed to confirm the child’s identity. You need a guarantor to sign your child’s application and one of the two passport photos. The guarantor must have known you personally for at least two years and know of the child.
Canada child passport photo requirements
Make sure the photos you use to apply to fulfil these specifications:
- The size must be 50 mm wide by 70 mm high (2 inches wide by 2¾ inches high);
- The height of your child’s face must measure between 31 mm (1¼ inches) and 36 mm (1⁷⁄₁₆ inches) from chin to crown of the head (natural top of head);
- The photos must be clear, sharp and in focus;
- The images must have uniform lighting and no shadows, glare or flash reflections;
- The photos must show a clear difference between your child’s face and the background;
- The photos must show your child’s natural skin tone;
- The photos must be professionally printed on plain, high-quality photographic paper;
- The photos must be an original photo that is not altered in any way;
- According to baby passport picture rules, a child must show a neutral facial expression with eyes open and clearly visible, mouth closed with no smiling. However, newborns may have a range of facial expressions;
- The photos must not be older than six months;
- They must show face and shoulders centred and squared to the camera, not tilted in any direction;
- Headwear worn daily for religious beliefs or medical reasons is allowed;
- Glasses are permitted, but your child’s eyes must be clearly visible, and there must be no glare on the lenses;
- The photos must not show your or your child's hands;
- They must have a plain white or light-coloured background that shows a clear difference between your child and the background.
Here is an example:
Taking the right photo of your child for a passport application can already be tricky enough, but it will still have to fulfil all the technical requirements. To save time and resources, you may want to trust professionals to take care of your photo, all without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Just take a picture of your child in good lighting with the guidance above and upload it to our tool below.
Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here, and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID.
You will get two files from Visafoto: a digital photo and a template ready for printing. Don’t forget to ask a guarantor to sign one of them on the backside.
For detailed baby passport photo tips, check this article.