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What are the advantages of having a Canadian passport?

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

A Canadian passport, according to the report, allows visa-free travel to 183 countries, making it one of the best in the world.

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This year, the Singaporean passport was the most widely recognized (granting access to 193 countries), with Japan close behind (granting access to 192 countries). Afghanistan's passport came in last year, allowing visa-free travel to 27 countries.

Using a Canadian passport to travel:

Having a Canadian passport affects your travel plans. It allows for unrestricted exit and entry into Canada without the need for permits, visas, or other travel restrictions. However, only Canadian citizens, not permanent residents or those with temporary status, are eligible to receive passports.

As previously stated, Canadian passport holders have visa-free access to over 183 countries around the world, including:

  • The United States;

  • The United Kingdom;

  • The Schengen Area;

  • Australia and New Zealand;

  • South Korea;

  • Singapore;

  • Japan;

  • Brazil; and

  • The United Arab Emirates.

If you apply for a Canadian passport, you do not have to give up your current passport. Canada allows dual citizenship and thus multiple passports (if one's home country also allows dual citizenship). As a result, you can keep as many passports as you qualify for.

You must first obtain citizenship.

Obtaining citizenship is required before applying for a Canadian passport. There are several steps to this.

You must first be a permanent resident of Canada and follow the physical presence rules of the country. For example, you must show that you have lived in Canada for at least three of the last five years, which equates to 1,095 days.

You must also file your taxes, if applicable. Passing a Canadian citizenship test and demonstrating your language skills are also required to highlight your comprehension and communication abilities.

Even if you obtained your permanent resident status in another way, these conditions must be met. If you choose the naturalization route, it usually takes at least three years to obtain Canadian citizenship.

You may be eligible to inherit citizenship status from your parent if you are the direct child of a Canadian citizen (who was a citizen at the time of your birth).

How to Apply for a Canadian Passport:

You can apply for a passport after you have completed your citizenship ceremony and received your citizenship certificate. Every Canadian citizen is eligible to apply for this document, and it is rare to be found ineligible. If you are found ineligible, your citizenship may be revoked due to misrepresentation on your application or if there are security concerns, violations of human or international rights, or connections to organized crime associated with your application.

The application process for a Canadian passport also necessitates the submission of specific documentation. Your citizenship certificate is one of the most important documents, and you must submit an original copy of your application. Even Canadians born in Canada must present a birth certificate as proof of citizenship.

Your application form will require several documents, including:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship (only a citizenship certificate or a birth certificate from Canada);

  • Any valid Canadian passport or other type of travel document issued in your name (such as a refugee travel document or identity certificate);

  • Two letters of recommendation in support of your passport application;

  • A document proving your identity; and

  • Two passport-sized photographs that are identical

You will also need a guarantor when applying for your first passport. A guarantor must meet certain requirements, which vary depending on the type of passport and the location from which your application is submitted.

You can apply for a passport online and then complete the process at a Service Canada location, either with a pre-arranged appointment or as a walk-in.

Passport Processing Time:

The demand for new passports and passport renewals among Canadians is currently high, owing to the easing of travel restrictions caused by the pandemic around the world.

The Canadian government has recently launched a tool to track processing times. As of now, it appears that the time it takes to process a passport application from within Canada can range from regular service (10-20 business days) to urgent service, which can take anywhere from 2-9 days, or as little as by the end of the next day.

As a result, if you intend to travel outside of Canada in the near future, you should start the application process as soon as possible.

Other Benefits:

Aside from unrestricted travel, a Canadian passport has several other benefits. With the passport, you will be recognized as a Canadian citizen, with all of the same rights and freedoms as any other citizen, including the ability to vote in elections, run for political office, and apply for jobs that may require higher security clearances.

Another significant benefit is the elimination of the hassle of status renewal every five years, which is usually required for permanent residents. This translates into lower application submission costs and avoiding the hassle of approaching Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for extensions.

Finally, new permanent residents receive free benefits in Canada for the first year of their new citizenship. Over 80% of permanent residents in Canada prefer to become citizens, owing primarily to these advantages.

Obtaining Your Passport:

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Applying for a Canadian passport is an important step toward enjoying all the rights that come with being a Canadian. As with any other step in the immigration process, it must be followed carefully, as any misrepresentation (known or unknown) can result in serious penalties and even loss of status. As a result, many people choose to hire immigration lawyers to handle their passport applications, not only to ensure that best practices are followed but also for the peace of mind that their services can provide.


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