Passport - Part 1

Role of Passport Canada

Role of Passport Canada

Passport CanadaPassport Canada is responsible for issuing, refusing to issue, revoking, withholding and recovering Canadian passports.

A program of Citizenship and Immigration Canada

A passport is an official travel document issued by the government. A passport establishes the holder’s identity and citizenship and entitles the holder to travel under its protection to and from foreign countries.

Passport Canada is responsible for all matters related to Canadian passports. As mandated by the Canadian Passport Order, its responsibilities include issuing, refusing to issue, revoking, withholding, recovering and providing instructions on the use of Canadian passports.

Passport Canada has 34 passport-issuing offices across the country, as well as a network of approximately 190 Service Canada and Canada Post receiving agents, to offer Canadians wide access to passport services. Passport Canada also works in partnership with Government of Canada offices abroad to provide travel document services to Canadians who travel or live outside of Canada.

As a cost-recovery program, Passport Canada operations are financed entirely from the fees charged for passports and other travel documents. There is no annual parliamentary appropriation; the Canadian passport program is funded by applicants, not taxpayers.

Besides serving the public directly, Passport Canada also works with national and international police authorities, security agents, border officials and federal, provincial and territorial authorities that provide identification documents.

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Receiving agents

Receiving agents

Applicants who plan to travel within the next 20 business days should submit their application in person at a Passport Canada office.

Many Service Canada Centres and Canada Post outlets are passport receiving agents, giving Canadians broader access to passport services across the country. Receiving agents can accept standard passport applications, review applications to make sure they are complete, collect fee payments and supporting documents (proof of citizenship, identity document and photos) and send applications to Passport Canada for processing. Once Passport Canada has approved and issued a passport, it is delivered to the mailing address specified in the application.

Final decisions on passport entitlement rest with Passport Canada.

A list of service locations can be found on the Passport Canada website.

To pass through a port

One of the earliest mentions of a passport dates back to about 450 BC. The origin of the word "passport" is the French passe port, literally meaning "to pass through a port."


Passport Canada is responsible for issuing, refusing, revoking and withholding Canadian passports, in addition to administering their use and recovery.

Keeping your passport safe

Keeping your passport safe

keep passports safe.Your clients should recognize the importance of keeping their passport in a safe place.

A Canadian passport is the only reliable and universally accepted travel and identification document available to Canadians for the purpose of international travel. To avoid problems, it is recommended that all Canadians carry a Canadian passport when travelling abroad.

A passport is a valuable document that should be kept in a safe place at all times. Your clients should carry their passport in an inside coat pocket or money belt while abroad. Another option is to lock it in a hotel safe and carry a photocopy of the passport identification page.

Types of Canadian passports

Types of Canadian passports

About 50 percent of Canadians are passport holders.Sixty-four percent of Canadians are passport holders.

Passport Canada issues more than four million travel documents annually, most of which are regular passports. There are five types of passports:

Regular Passport

Canadians are most familiar with the regular (blue) 36-page passport, which is issued to Canadian citizens and used for occasional travel such as vacations and business trips. It accounts for the vast majority of all travel documents issued by Passport Canada.

Diplomatic Passport

Passport Canada issues diplomatic passports to Canadian diplomats, top-ranking government officials, diplomatic couriers and private citizens nominated as official delegates to international diplomatic conferences.

Special Passport

Passport Canada issues special passports to people representing the Canadian government on official business, including Members of Parliament, provincial Members of Cabinet, public servants and private citizens nominated to non-diplomatic conferences.

Emergency travel document

Canadians stranded in foreign countries may be issued emergency travel documents by Canadian government offices abroad on behalf of Passport Canada.

Temporary Passport

On behalf of Passport Canada, Canadian government offices abroad may issue temporary passports to a Canadian citizen with an urgent, proven need for an interim passport, while waiting to receive a regular passport.

Passport Canada also issues two types of Canadian travel document to refugees and stateless persons living in Canada:

  • Travel document (1951 UN Convention)
  • Certificate of identity

In July 2013, Passport Canada began to issue electronic, or ePassports, and to offer adult Canadians the choice of a five-year or 10-year validity period.

About the Canadian Passport

There were about 21 million valid Canadian passports in circulation as of March 31, 2012. On average, about 19,000 passports are issued each working day.

The first booklet-type Canadian passport was issued in 1921, and the first bilingual Canadian passport made its appearance in 1926 (prior to that, passports were issued in English only). Until 1947, two kinds of passports were issued in Canada, one for British-born citizens, and one for naturalized citizens. Since 1947, the Canadian Citizenship Act has stipulated that only Canadian citizens are entitled to a Canadian passport.
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