Canadians will soon be able to renew their passports online
After unveiling a new design for its passports on May 10, the Government of Canada has now announced that Canadians eligible for simplified passport renewals will be able to complete this process online starting in the fall.
In an announcement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the same day as the passport redesign reveal, Minister Sean Fraser revealed that eligible Canadians will be able to upload necessary documents and photos online to a secure government website as part of this new process.
Note: In March 2022, Canada expanded the list of consumers eligible for simplified passport renewals.
As of May 2023, the following groups will be eligible to take advantage of Canada’s upcoming online passport renewal system:
- Those with expired passports issued in the last 15 years
- Those with passports that were lost, stolen or damaged
For clarity, the difference between a simplified passport renewal and a standard renewal process is the required documentation.
While standard passport renewals require the applicant to provide original documents (ex. proof of citizenship or photo identification), simplified renewals only require the following four items:
- 2 photos
- 2 references
- Completed forms
- Applicable fees
IRCC hopes that the online processes it plans to introduce later this year will make passports quicker and easier to process. However, new passport applicants must still use the government’s traditional application process through Service Canada.
Benefits of a Canadian passport
Passports are primarily known as travel documents. In reality, these identification documents are truly much more than just something you show at the airport when going on a trip and coming home from your vacation.
1. Entry into the 185 countries without a visa
According to a 2022 report by Henley & Partners, Canadian passport holders can enter 185 countries without a visa. This is tied for eighth in the most recent Global Passport Rankings, meaning that those holding a Canadian passport have some of the best levels of access to other countries around the world without having to go through the process of obtaining a visa of any kind.
2. Ability to maintain Canadian and home passport (as a Canadian citizen)
Canada allows dual citizens to hold their Canadian passport as well as the one they were given from their home country. Presuming that their home country also allows for this, Canadian dual citizens can carry as many passports as they are eligible for.
3. Benefits of Canadian citizenship
Getting a passport in Canada does not make you eligible for citizenship. If you do receive one, it is because you are now a citizen of Canada. Receiving a Canadian passport means that you will now be able to, among other things, enjoys all the same rights and freedoms as someone born in this country.
For example, one of the pivotal rights afforded to citizens of this country is the right to vote in an election.
Canadian citizens will also benefit from a greater number of employment opportunities, including some that are not available to Canadians of other statuses (permanent resident, temporary resident etc.).