Immigration minister reveals Canada’s newly redesigned passports

Edana Robitaille, Julia Hornstein
Published: May 10, 2023

Today, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould, have unveiled the new Canadian passports.

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The passport redesign has been in progress since 2013. The government says it is a regular process to prevent counterfeiting and to integrate more modern security features.

The new passport includes security features that are designed to keep Canadians’ identities safe. Minister Fraser highlighted that the document will have a polycarbonate data page and passport holders’ personal information will now be laser engraved instead of being printed with ink. This is meant to make the data page more durable and resistant to tampering and counterfeiting. Additionally, there is  a custom see-through window with a secondary image of the passport holder, a variable laser image, and a temperature sensitive ink feature.

In terms of design, the minister said that the document would capture Canada's natural heritage. He said the design is a result of consultation with numerous stakeholders. He also said designs need to be entirely redone every few years to help improve security.

Minister Gould noted that throughout the summer, some Canadians may receive one of the old style of passports while the transition takes place but these passports are still valid and secure.

The latest statistics from Passport Canada show that as of May 5, 209,548 passport applications have been received so far in 2023 and 210,171 passports have been issued.

Passport Canada recently experienced some processing delays due to the strike by the Public Service Alliance of Canada, which impacted over 155,000 federal workers. Between the week of April 17-23 and April 24-30, the number of applications processed dropped by 45%.

How to apply for a passport

To get a Canadian passport, you must complete a passport application. Along with your application form, you must include the following documents:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship: this can be a birth certificate or citizenship certificate
  • Any valid Canadian passport or other travel document issued to you
  • A document that supports your identity, for example a photocopy of an identification card
  • Two identical passport photos, with the applicant’s name, address and date the photos were taken written on the back

All documents must be in either English or French. If a document is in another language, you must provide an official translation.

In addition, you must include two references in your application. They must have known you for at least two years and cannot be a family member.

Canada’s passport ranks high

Last September, Canada tied for eighth place in the most recent Global Passport Ranking report by Henley & Partners, a global immigration consultancy. Australia, Greece, Malta and the Czech Republic were also ranked eighth.

Passports are ranked based on the number of other countries a citizen may enter without having to get any kind of visa.

According to the report, Canadian passport holders can enter 185 countries without a visa. Japan’s passports were the number one passport in the world as its citizens can enter 193 countries. Singapore and South Korea were tied for second place at 192 countries. Afghanistan had the lowest ranking passport and only has visa-free entry to 27 countries.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

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