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.
- Carry a passport for all trips outside Canada.
- Be sure that your passport is still valid. Some countries require that your passport be valid for 6 months beyond your date of entry. Check the Country Travel Advice and Advisory for your destination to establish whether the 6-month rule applies.
- 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. Leave a copy with a trusted friend or relative who is not travelling with you.
- Keep your passport safe while travelling. Do not leave it unattended in your luggage, vehicle, hotel or elsewhere. Carry it in your money belt, inside coat pocket or purse, or lock it in your hotel safe.
- 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.
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 Government of Canada 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.
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.
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