You are strongly advised to carry a valid Canadian passport when travelling to any foreign destination, including the United States. A passport is the only reliable and universally accepted identification document, and it proves that you have a right to return to Canada. Some countries do not require a passport for entry but do require photographic identification, such as a driver’s licence, as well as proof of Canadian citizenship, such as a birth certificate or citizenship card. Requirements vary from country to country.

To avoid delays and other problems that will hinder your return to Canada, obtain a Canadian passport before starting your international travel.

Passport applications and renewals

Canadian citizens in Canada and the United States* must submit passport requests to Passport Canada. Canadians travelling or living in other countries must contact the nearest Canadian government office abroad.

Pre-travel passport tips

Check the expiry date of your passport before planning your trip. Many countries require that your passport be valid for several months after the date you plan to leave the country. Each country sets its own rules, so consult the Country travel advice and advisory pages for the countries you will be visiting. If your passport is damaged, apply for a new one immediately or you could face delays or be denied entry at border crossings or when boarding your flights.

Confirm that your travel insurance has document replacement and trip interruption coverage. If you lose your passport and must extend your stay, your additional costs could be covered.

Remember to sign the passport on page 3 (except for children under 11), and fill in your current address and the name of a person to contact in case of emergency on page 4. Leave a copy of all your travel documents, including your passport, with a trusted friend or relative who is not travelling with you.

Protect your passport

Scan or copy page 2 of your passport and email it to yourself or carry it with you in a separate location in case anything happens to your passport. Take two identical passport photos with you. This will speed up the passport replacement process if your passport is lost or stolen. Read our Lost, stolen, damaged or found passports page for instructions on how to replace your missing passport.

The best way to ensure your passport isn’t lost or stolen is to always keep it in a safe place. Carry it in your money belt, inside coat pocket or purse, or lock it in your hotel safe. Do not leave it unattended in your luggage, vehicle, hotel or elsewhere.

In some countries, you may have to give your passport to a foreign official or a hotel/hostel employee. If you don't get it back in a reasonable time, inform the nearest Canadian government office abroad


Canada issues two types of travel documents, the refugee travel document and the certificate of identity, to residents of Canada who are convention refugees, protected persons, stateless persons or permanent residents for less than 3 years who are unable to obtain a national passport for a valid reason.

Improper use

Selling, altering, or allowing another person to use your passport is a criminal offence. You could be charged and imprisoned if you are convicted, or denied passport services.

The following regions must conform to same regulations as the United States: Bermuda, American Samoa, the Midway Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

More on this topic

Other resources
Date modified: