Canadian Passport Applications

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Introduction to Canadian Passports

Businessman holding passport at airport, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Peter Mintz Getty Images

A Canadian passport is the internationally accepted evidence of your Canadian citizenship, as well as providing the best possible photo identification. If you are traveling outside Canada, the Canadian federal government Department of Foreign Affairs recommends that you carry a passport valid for at least six months beyond your expected return date.

Children, including newborns, can not be listed on a parent's passport and must have their own Canadian passport. A separate passport application must be submitted for each child.

A standard adult passport is valid for 5 years as are passports for children aged 3 to 15. For children under 3 years old, the maximum validity of a passport is 3 years.

As passport applications take longer to process during peak times, Passport Canada suggests that you try to apply for your passport during the off-peak season between June and November.

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Canadian Passport Application Forms

There are different versions of the Canadian passport application form depending on age and where you apply, so be sure to use the correct application form.

Passport requirements may change, so pick up a new application form when you are making your application.

You can pick up a Canadian passport application form:

  • at a participating Canadian post office outlet or Service Canada Centre
  • at a Canadian passport office

  • online. Online forms are in PDF. They can either be completed interactively online, then printed, signed and dated and then submitted in person or by mail with accompanying documents, or they can be printed and completed offline, then submitted. When using the online forms, be sure to select the correct form and follow the directions for printing and completing the form carefully.​
  • outside Canada, at a Canadian consulate office.

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Documents Required for Canadian Passport Applications

The following documents must be submitted with your Canadian passport application form, photos and fee. Check ahead of time that you have all the necessary documents, and allow extra time if you need to apply for one of these documents before making your passport application.

Proof of Identity for Canadian Passport Application

You must submit at least one document to support your identity and the name to appear in your Canadian passport. This document must be issued by a federal, provincial, or municipal government. It must be valid and must include both your name and signature. A provincial drivers license is a good example. Original documents will be returned to you. If you submit photocopies, submit copies of both sides of the document. Your guarantor must sign and date all copies.

A previous Canadian passport (not a photocopy) can be used as proof of identification if it is still valid or submitted within a year of expiry, and the name is the same as that used on the current passport application.

Further documentation may be required.

Proof of Canadian Citizenship for Canadian Passport Application

You must submit original proof of Canadian citizenship:

  • If born inside Canada - either a birth certificate or Certificate of Canadian Citizenship. (See changes to birth certificate requirements effective February 01, 2011.)
  • If born outside Canada - a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship, a Certificate of Naturalization, a Certificate of Retention of Canadian Citizenship or a Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad.

Travel Documents Required for Canadian Passport Application

Enclose any valid Canadian passport. Expired passports do not need to be submitted. If you have a current passport that expires more than 12 months after the date of your application, include a written explanation of why you are applying early.

You must also submit any other travel document issued in the last five years.

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Canadian Passport Photos

Get a passport photo taken, and get two identical copies. Many photo processing stores and most photographers will do passport photos instantly and cheaply. Check the Yellow Pages of your local phone book under Photographers to find a handy location. Passport photos must be taken within 12 months of your application; within one month if the application is for a child. Be sure to follow the specific standards set by the Passport Office for acceptable photos. Passport Canada provides a handy checklist (in PDF) which you can print and take with you when you go to the photographer.

The name and address of the photographer and the date the photograph was taken must appear on the back of the passport photographs. Your guarantor must write a declaration "I certify this to be a true likeness of (name)" and sign the back of one of the photographs.

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Guarantors and References for Canadian Passport Applications

Guarantors for Canadian Passport Applications

All Canadian passport applications must be signed by a guarantor. The guarantor must also write a declaration "I certify this to be a true likeness of (name)" and sign the back of one of the passport photos, and sign and date any photocopies of supporting documents.

Guarantors for Canadians Living in Canada and the United States

Your Canadian passport guarantor must be someone who has known you personally for at least two years and can verify your identity and that your statements are accurate.

Your guarantor must be a Canadian citizen who is 18 years of age or older and must hold a valid five-year Canadian passport or a Canadian passport that has been expired for less than one year at the time you submit your passport application. The guarantor can be a member of your own family. The guarantor must be accessible to Passport Canada for verification purposes, and Passport Canada reserves the right to request a different guarantor.

Guarantors for Canadians Living Abroad

Your Canadian passport guarantor must be someone who has known you personally for at least two years and can verify your identity and that your statements are accurate.

Your guarantor must live within the jurisdiction of the passport-issuing office and must be accessible for the passport office to contact. Your guarantor must also be a member of one of the professions listed on the passport application form for Canadians living abroad (a doctor or practicing lawyer for example).

References for Canadian Passport Applications

You must also provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of two references who are neither your guarantor nor a relative. References must be people who have known you for at least two years. Your references may be contacted by Passport Canada to confirm your identity.

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Canadian Passport Application Fees

The application fees for a Canadian passport vary depending on the type of passport, and where you apply. The passport application form will specify the processing fee. The methods of payment of processing fees also vary depending on whether you apply in Canada, in the United States or outside Canada and the United States.

Paying Your Passport Fees in Canada

There are several ways to pay the Canadian passport application fee in Canada: in cash or by debit card if you are submitting your application form in person; by certified cheque or money order, payable to the Receiver General for Canada; or by credit card.

Paying Your Passport Fees in the United States

Canadian passport application fees for Canadians living in the United States must be made in Canadian dollars. Fees can be paid by certified cheque, traveler's check or international money order (postal or bank) made payable to the Receiver General for Canada, or by credit card.

Paying Your Passport Fees Outside Canada and the United States

Canadian passport application fees for Canadians living abroad must be paid in the local currency. Consult the local passport issuing office for the current exchange rate. Payments can be made in cash, by certified cheque, traveler's check or international money order (postal or bank) made payable to the Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as appropriate.

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Completing Your Canadian Passport Application

  • Be sure you have the right passport application form.
  • Read the general information and instructions on the application form carefully.
  • Complete all the required sections of the passport application form, otherwise, your application will be rejected.
  • Sign within the white box in Section 1 of the passport application form. Be sure your signature does not touch the border of the box. This signature will be used in your passport.
  • Get your guarantor to sign Section 2 of the passport application form, to sign the back of one photograph, and to sign any photocopies (both sides) of documents.
  • Be sure that you sign and date all three pages of the passport application form. The application form must be dated within the last 12 months.
  • Attach all required documents and photos. Also, include your valid passport and any travel document issued in the last five years.
  • Include the appropriate passport application fee.
  • Double check your application before you submit it. Use the passport checklist to make sure your application is complete.

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Submit Your Canadian Passport Application

Submitting Your Passport Application in Person

If you submit your application in person, you also have to pick it up in person.

In Canada

If at all possible, deliver your Canadian passport application in person. Canadian passport applications can be submitted in person at

  • a Passport Canada office
  • a participating Canada Post office (an additional fee will be charged)
  • a participating Service Canada centre

Canada Post offices and Service Canada Centres only handle standard passport applications.

In the United States and Bermuda

Canadian government offices in the United States and Bermuda do not provide regular passport services. Passport applications must be sent by mail or courier to Canada.

Outside Canada, the United States and Bermuda

If you are outside Canada, the United States and Bermuda, your application must be submitted in person at either the office where you picked up the passport application form or the nearest passport-issuing office in the country which you are visiting.

Submitting Your Passport Application by Mail

To mail a Canadian passport application, the address is:

Passport Canada
Foreign Affairs Canada
Gatineau QC
Canada
K1A 0G3

Passport applications are not accepted by mail from outside Canada, the United States and Bermuda.

Passports are returned by overnight courier service.

Submitting Your Passport Application by Courier

To courier a Canadian passport application, the address is:

Passport Canada
22 de Varennes Building
22 de Varennes Street
Gatineau, QC
Canada
J8T 8R1

Passport applications are only accepted by courier from Canada, the United States, Bermuda and Saint-Pierre et Miquelon.

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Processing Times for Canadian Passport Applications

Standard times for processing passport applications fluctuate depending on where you apply, the time of year and the volume of applications. Passport Canada maintains a regular Update on Processing Times (use the dropdown box at the top of the page to select your location) with the latest estimates. These estimates do not include delivery time.

Processing passport applications may take longer during peak times, or if there are problems with the application. The off-peak time for passport applications in Canada is between June and November.

If your passport application has taken longer than the normal processing time, use the Passport Canada online form to check the status of your Canadian passport application.

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Contact Information for Canadian Passports

Refer to Passport Canada's frequently asked questions for more information on Canadian passport applications.

If you still have questions or require additional information, then contact Passport Canada directly.