Canadian Passport FAQ

The Canadian passport is not just an identification document, as it also gives you the right to international travel. Find the answers to the most asked questions on the Canadian passport here.

Canadian Passport on the table next to Canadian flag and a toy airplane

Contents:

Part 1: Canadian passport application

How to get a Canadian passport?

In general, here are the steps of obtaining a passport in Canada:

  1. Complete the application form;
  2. Get your supporting documents, including two passport-sized photos;
  3. Find a guarantor and two references to confirm your identity;
  4. Book an appointment at a Passport Centre or Service Canada Centre based on the urgency of your application;
  5. Submit your application at a scheduled time.

You can also apply by mail. The difference is that you will not need to attend an appointment in person, but it does entail postal waiting time.

What are the basic Canadian passport photo requirements?

The technical Canadian passport photo parameters are as follows:

Here is an example:

Canadian passport photo
Read more: Canada passport photo requirements

Can I take a Canadian passport photo online

Yes, using our service, Visafoto, you can get your photo for the Canadian passport application online without leaving the comfort of your own home. With Visafoto, you won’t need to worry about the technicalities such as size, background, and proportions, as we will adjust them for you automatically.

Just take a portrait of yourself in good lighting and upload it to our tool below. You will get two files from Visafoto: a digital photo and a template ready for printing.

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.
Additional options
Upload photo & Continue

Source

Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at visafoto.com

Result

Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

So let's have a look at some examples. Your original photo should look like this:

Passport photo original source

After resizing, you will get a photo for online submission and 4 photos for printing:

Example of a Canada passport photo
Canada passport photo for printing

How to renew a Canadian passport?

Renewing a Canadian passport is easier than applying for a new one, as you won’t need to provide proof of citizenship, supporting identification, or find a guarantor.

However, first, you must check whether you are actually eligible to renew instead of applying for a new one. You can renew if your previous passport was an adult one (as opposed to a child passport), and you don’t need to change any personal details such as name and gender marker.

The general steps are:

  1. Complete the application form;
  2. Gather your supporting documents, including two passport application photos;
  3. Get two references to confirm your identity;
  4. Walk in (or book an appointment, if applicable) to a Service Canada Centre and submit your application.

How much does the Canadian passport cost (for adults and minors)?

The application fee varies by validity, age, and location. Here are the general passport prices:

For applications abroad:

Part 2: Canadian Passport Eligibility

Who is eligible for a Canadian passport?

All Canadian citizens of any age, including minors, are eligible to hold a Canadian passport. Minors under 16 can only obtain a passport with a parent or guardian. After the age of 16, you can apply on your own.

A permanent resident can only obtain a Canadian passport after getting citizenship.

Related: Canadian Citizenship Application Guide: How to Get One?

Can I get a Canadian passport with a criminal record?

In many cases, Canadian passports are available for citizens with a felony, with the possible exception of those who committed passport fraud.

Passport application processes do not include questions about criminal records. In general, as long as sentencing conditions do not prohibit it, citizens with criminal records can apply for a passport. In any case, it does not guarantee exit from the country: the felon can be detained at the border.

Part 3: Canadian passport in use

How many countries can I visit with a Canadian passport visa-free?

The Canadian passport is currently one of the strongest in the world, with 107 countries available to visit without a visa, according to The Passport Index. Other than that, Canadian visa holders can get a visa on arrival in 54 countries and an Electronic Travel Authorisation in 6. Only 31 countries require obtaining a visa at the consulate.

Do I need a passport to travel within Canada?

Canadian citizens need a valid government-issued photo ID to fly domestically, which may be a passport as well. You can fly within Canada without a passport if you provide other governmental ids, such as a driver's licence, PR card, citizenship card, firearms licence, or other applicable documents.

Related: Detailed guide on Canada PR Card

Do I need a Canadian passport for the U.S.?

In general, you need to have official proof of identity and citizenship, which your Canadian passport serves if you travel to the US. For air journeys, you need to present your valid passport or NEXUS card. For land or sea journeys, you can use your passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, enhanced driver’s licence (EDL) or enhanced identification card(EIC), or Secure Certificate of Indian Status.

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