How to Apply for a Canadian Passport

You’ve got your citizenship finally! But remember, if you need to travel, like most people do nowadays, you should apply for your passport as soon as possible. While it is normally a fairly straightforward process, how you apply for your Canadian passport will depend on a number of factors:

 

Applying for a New Passport:

 

Canadian Passport from Within Canada

If you’re applying from within Canada, and you are 16 years or older then you should apply for an adult passport. You must be a Canadian citizen and if you are applying for a new passport rather than renewing an existing passport you must provide the following:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship. If you were born in Canada:
    • A birth certificate, OR
    • A certificate of citizenship issued by IRCC
  • If you were born outside of Canada:
    • Certificate of Citizenship
    • Certificate of Naturalization
    • Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad
    • Certificate of Retention of Canadian Citizenship
  • You must find 2 adult persons who have known you for at least 2 years to act as references. They will be listed on your passport form and do not have to sign anything. They cannot be family members or guarantors.
  • You will also need to find a guarantor. This is a person who must:
    • Sign the Guarantor declaration on your application form
    • Sign 1 of your passport photos and write: “I certify this to be a true likeness of …” on the back of the passport photo next to where they signed
    • Sign and date any and all photocopies of documents you provide
    • Have known you for at least 2 years
    • Be a Canadian Citizen 18 years old or older
    • Have a valid Canadian passport that it is valid or has not expired for more than 1 year when they sign your form/photo/copies
    • Can be a family member or anyone living at your address if they meet the additional guarantor requirements. 
    • Note: If you are applying from outside of Canada your guarantor must either be a family member, someone living at your address, or a professional like a judge, dentist, pharmacist, police officer, notary public, lawyer etc. If they have retired they must still be listed in their professional association.

Remember that it takes around 5 months to process an application for a citizenship certificate, so if you do not have a citizenship certificate you should apply for one as soon as possible as you will need one when applying for a passport. Go here to see the process for an urgent request for a certificate, if for example you need a passport for a funeral abroad.

If you were born in Canada, you should contact the vital statistics office of the province or territory you were born in to obtain a copy of your birth certificate.

Rather than print and then fill out your application form, Adult General Application Form (PPTC 153), you should complete it online and then print and sign each page of the printed form. Remember to have the guarantor complete and sign their declaration.

 

Submitting Your Application

Submit your application by mail to:

Government of Canada
Passport Program
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0G3
Canada

Submit your application by courier to:

Government of Canada
Passport Program
22 de Varennes Street
Gatineau, Quebec J8T 8R1
Canada

 

Paying Your Fees

If you are applying from within Canada by mail, you can pay your fees by:

  • Visa, MasterCard, American Express (prepaid cards are accepted)
  • Certified Cheque or Money Order in Canadian Funds in the exact amount of the fees, payable to Receiver General of Canada
  • You can NOT pay by cash or personal cheque
  • Debit Cards are NOT accepted for applications by mail.

If you are applying in person, go here to find a Passport office or Service Canada receiving agent that accepts passport applications. You can pay your fees by:

  • Visa, MasterCard, American Express
  • Debit Cards (INTERAC Online)
  • Certified Cheque or Money Order in Canadian Funds in the exact amount of the fees, payable to Receiver General of Canada
  • You can NOT pay by cash or personal cheque.

 

Getting Your Passport

How you receive your passport will depend on how you applied:

  • If you applied by mail, the passport and any original documents will be returned to you by mail. They may come in 2 separate packages.
  • If you applied in person and paid the extra fee for a pick-up service, the pick-up date will be indicated on your receipt.
  • You can send someone to pick up your passport if: they have written authorization from you and valid identification.

 

Applying from the United States

If you’re applying from the United States, you should use one of the following application forms:

  • Adult General Passport Application form (PPTC 153) if you are using a guarantor who is not a professional.
  • Adult General Passport Application form (PPTC 140) if you are using an occupation-based guarantor.

You will need the following documents (translated into English or French if in any other language):

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship: birth certificate if born in Canada, OR certificate of citizenship, OR certificate of naturalization, OR certificate of registration of birth abroad, OR certificate of retention of Canadian citizenship
  • Identity document: one that gives date of birth and full name, for example a valid foreign passport or a driver’s license
  • 2 identical passport photos. Go here to see the requirements for the photos. Print out the page and take it with you to your photographer in the US. The standards for passport photos are different in the U.S. so you will need to ensure that your photographer follows the Canadian standards.
  • Any valid Canadian travel document issued in your name
  • You may have to provide extra documentation if you are changing your name or sex or wish to omit your place of birth.

 

Paying the Fees from the United States

If applying within the United States you can pay by Credit Card, Certified Cheque or Money Order as in Canada. The fees are:

  • 5-year Adult passport: CAD$190
  • 10-year Adult passport: CAD$260
  • Child Passport: CAD$100

 

Submitting Your Passport Application from the United States

You should submit your passport to the same mailing and courier addresses as you do when submitting by mail from within Canada. These are:

By mail from the United States:

Government of Canada
Passport Program
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0G3
Canada

By courier from the United States:

Government of Canada
Passport Program
22 de Varennes Street
Gatineau, Quebec J8T 8R1
Canada

Remember to use a traceable mail service like registered mail in the U.S. so you can track and have proof of your submission.

If you can go to Canada, you can apply at a Passport office. You will then have a choice of how to receive your passport (this choice is only for those who live in the U.S. but have applied in person at a Passport office in Canada).

  • You can choose to have it mailed to your address in the United States, OR
  • You can pick up the new passport at the Passport office in Canada. Unlike people applying from within Canada who are residents of Canada, as a resident of the United States, you can NOT have a third person pick up your passport. You must do it yourself.

 

Applying for a Passport from Outside of Canada and the United States

If you are applying from outside Canada and the United States, you will need to complete Adult General Passport Application form (PPTC 040) online, then print and sign each page.

You will need the following documents (similar to applications from the US):

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship: birth certificate if born in Canada, OR certificate of citizenship, OR certificate of naturalization, OR certificate of registration of birth abroad, OR certificate of retention of Canadian citizenship
  • Identity document: one that gives date of birth and full name, for example a valid foreign passport or a driver’s license
  • 2 identical passport photos. Go here to see the requirements for the photos. Print out the page and take it with you to your photographer in the US. The standards for passport photos are different in the U.S. so you will need to ensure that your photographer follows the Canadian standards.
  • Any valid Canadian travel document issued in your name
  • You may have to provide extra documentation if you are changing your name or sex or wish to omit your place of birth.

 

Paying the Fees Outside of Canada and the United States

You will have to confirm with the government office abroad (embassy or consulate normally) where you are submitting your application, what method of payment is acceptable. The fees are:

  • 5-year Adult passport: CAD$190
  • 10-year Adult passport: CAD$260
  • Child Passport: CAD$100

 

Submitting Your Passport Application Outside of Canada and the United States

You will receive instructions from the government of Canada passport issuing office abroad as to how and when you will receive your new passport.

If you are in Canada you may submit your application in person at a Passport office, but you must remain in Canada to personally pick up your new passport if you choose this option. The date when you may pick up your new passport will be listed on your receipt when you submit your application at a Passport office in Canada.

 

Renewing an Existing Passport

If you are renewing your passport you do not need proof of citizenship as long as your passport:

  • Is not damaged
  • Has not been reported lost or stolen
  • Has been issued for a 5 or 10-year period of validity
  • Was issued when you were at least 16 years old
  • Has same: name; sex; place of birth; date of birth as what you wish to appear on your renewed passport
  • Has been expired for less than a year.

The process for renewal will depend on where you are applying for a renewal of your passport from:

 

Applying from Within Canada and the United States

If you are renewing your passport from within Canada or the United States, you should use the Adult Simplified Renewal Application Form (PPTC 054), which you should fill out online and then print and sign each page. You will also need:

  • Your most recent passport.
  • 2 identical passport photos (go here for the requirements). If you are applying for a renewal in the United States, please be aware that passport photos in the US have different requirements. You should therefore print out the requirements in the link above and bring them to the photographer to ensure your passport photos comply to Canadian (and not American) standards.
  • 2 references listed on your application form who have known you for at least 2 years.
  • If you need your passport within 20 days, you should apply at a Passport Office to ensure you receive the renewed passport in time.
  • If you are in Bermuda, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Midway Islands, or the US Virgin Islands, the same rules apply as if you are applying from within the United States.

 

Paying the Fees from Within Canada or the United States

To pay your fees in Canada you can pay by: Credit Cards (Visa, Master Card, American Express); Certified cheque or Money Order in Canadian funds payable to Receiver General for Canada; Debit Cards (INTERAC Online, Visa Debit, Virtual debit). The fees are

  • 5-year Adult passport: CAD$120
  • 10-year Adult passport: CAD$160
  • Child passport: CAD$57

If applying within the United States you can pay by Credit Card, Certified Cheque or Money Order as in Canada. The fees are:

  • 5-year Adult passport: CAD$190
  • 10-year Adult passport: CAD$260
  • Child Passport: CAD$100

 

Submitting the Passport from Within Canada or the United States

If applying within Canada or the United States (use some form of traceable mail service or courier if you are in the United States), submit your passport by mail to:

Government of Canada
Passport Program
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0G3
Canada

Or by courier to:

Government of Canada
Passport Program
22 de Varennes Street
Gatineau, Quebec J8T 8R1
Canada

 

Applying from Outside of Canada or the United States:

If you are renewing your passport from outside Canada and the United States, you should use the Adult Simplified Renewal Application Form (PPTC 482) and you will need to submit:

  • Your most recent passport
  • 2 identical passport photos with the same requirements as indicated above
  • 2 references listed in your application form who have known you for at least 2 years
  • Go here to see a list of consulates and embassies where you should submit your application. Remember to first fill out the application form online, and then print and sign both pages of the application.
  • Remember that your authorized signature that will be used must fit within the space provided or your application will not be accepted.
  • If you are in Canada, you can apply at a nearby Passport office in person, but you must be staying in Canada long enough to pick up your passport in person. You cannot apply at a Service Canada receiving agent if you live abroad and are not currently a resident of Canada.

 

Paying Your Fees and Receiving Your Passport Outside of Canada or the United States

If you submit your application abroad to the embassy or consulate, how you pay your fees will depend on what country you are applying from. Check with your local Canadian embassy or consulate for more information on the methods of payment and the amount of fees in local currency. In Canadian funds the fees are:

  • 5-year Adult passport: CAD$190
  • 10-year Adult passport: CAD$260
  • Child Passport: CAD$100

The Passport issuing office of the Government of Canada abroad will inform you when your passport will be ready and will give you instructions on how to pick your passport up. Go here to find the nearest office to you.

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