New Canadian Passport Renewal Guidelines

Apr 25, 2022

Hey, here’s some good news for those of us who want to travel internationally again and whose travel documents need to be renewed or replaced.

As of April 4, 2022, the Canadian government announced that they have updated the passport renewal guidelines in order to facilitate a speedier process. This is not only timely, but also very welcome news for those of us whose travel documents may have expired in the past year or so or are about to.

As it turns out, the new guidelines will help reduce the backlog of people trying to renew their passports. The pandemic and related shutdowns have delayed passport processing times, creating high volumes and an enormous backlog of applications needing to be fulfilled. In response, the government has put new measures in place to help us all get back to the pastime many of us love best. Travel!

Now that more Canadians are planning to travel again outside the boundaries of Canada, these measures will make it far easier to ‘get on the road again’, so to speak.

Simplified Renewal Eligibility

The Canadian Passport office has expanded and simplified the application process for document renewals, so long as they have been issued within the past 15 years.

Effective immediately, Canadians in Canada and abroad can now use the simplified process to:

  • Renew an expired passport.
  • Replace a lost, stolen or damaged passport.

In the past, the simplified renewal process was unavailable for passports which had been expired for longer than a year or for those that were lost, stolen or damaged.

What You Need (and Don’t Need) To Do

With the simplified renewal process, applicants don’t need to have a guarantor, nor do they need to provide their original documents such as proof of citizenship or photo identification. They simply need two photos, two references, their completed form and the applicable fees.

These changes will make renewing a passport far easier now than it was a few years ago.

“As international travel resumes, we need to continue to modernize and improve our passport services to make sure we meet the needs of Canadians,” says Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser. “Simplifying the renewal process will make it easier and faster for Canadians to get their passport and is another step toward greater modernization while prioritizing the health and safety of Canadians and our employees,”

Apply or Renew Early, Before You Finalize Travel Plans

With the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions and the demand for passports – both new and renewals – returning to pre-pandemic levels, the government recommends that Canadians apply early and not finalize any travel plans until they have received their new passport.

Another good thing is that now, thanks to the simplified process, Canadians without imminent travel plans do not need to rush out to renew an expired or soon-to-expire passport as they did in the past.

Be Sure Your Existing Passport Passes a Destination’s Requirements Too

Keep in mind that just because your passport is still valid, many countries do require that it be valid for a ­­­­specified time beyond your travel dates. If your expiry date is imminent, you may need to renew it earlier than planned. It’s wise to check with your destination and see what their timelines and requirements are. Check for any Visa requirements as well.

Another Update for Travellers into Canada

Effective April 1, Canada dropped the requirement for fully vaccinated travellers to present a negative COVID-19 test when entering the country. This new measure does not apply to unvaccinated travellers, and arrivals can be subject to random testing. For additional information, please visit: travel.gc.ca/travel-covid

Again, if you’re planning to travel outside Canada, check in advance what the testing and vaccination requirements at your chosen destination are before you go.

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