Real Canada Passport: All You Need to Know to Obtain, Renew, and Replace

As a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, having a valid and real passport is crucial when traveling. A passport is a travel document that confirms your identity and your right to enter or leave a country. It also allows you to travel to other countries and acts as proof of citizenship. In this guide, we’ll take you through all the necessary steps to obtain, renew, and replace a real Canada passport.

Key Takeaways

  • A real Canada passport is an official travel document that confirms your identity and citizenship.
  • It’s crucial to have a real Canada passport when traveling outside the country.
  • To obtain a real Canada passport, you need to provide certain documents and pay a fee.
  • Renewing or replacing a real Canada passport requires specific documents and fees.
  • Being aware of the common mistakes when applying for a real Canada passport can save you time and money.

What is a Real Canada Passport?

A real Canada passport is an official travel document issued by the Government of Canada, which confirms the identity and citizenship of the holder. It’s also used to enter and leave a foreign country, as well as to request assistance from Canadian consular officials abroad. Canadian passports come in two formats: regular and special.

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A regular passport is issued to Canadian citizens and allows them to travel to other countries for leisure or business purposes. A special passport is issued to Canadian officials and diplomats working for the Canadian government who are traveling on official business.

Why are Real Canada Passports Important?

A real Canada passport is essential for a Canadian citizen when traveling outside of Canada. It serves as proof of citizenship and identity and is required to enter other countries. Without a valid passport, you may not be able to board your flight or may be refused entry by the destination country.

How to Obtain a Real Canada Passport?

To apply for a real Canada passport, you have to fill out an application form and submit it in-person at one of the Passport Offices or Service Canada Centers across the country.

To obtain a real Canada passport, you must provide:

  • Two identical passport photos (meeting specific requirements for size and quality)
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship (an original Canadian birth certificate, a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship, or a Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad)
  • Proof of identity (a government-issued photo ID or a previous Canadian passport)
  • The applicable passport fee

The cost of the passport varies depending on the type of passport, the applicant’s age, and the processing time. You can pay the passport fees either by credit card or by debit card at Service Canada Centers.

What are the Requirements for a Real Canada Passport?

To be eligible for a real Canada passport, you must be a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident in Canada. If you’re a Canadian citizen, you can apply for a passport if you’re 16 years or older. The eligibility criteria for children and teenagers depend on the situation.

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What to Look Out for When Applying for a Real Canada Passport?

When applying for a real Canada passport, it’s crucial to ensure you’re providing all the correct documentation and meeting all the eligibility criteria. Common mistakes applicants make when applying for a passport are missing documents, providing incorrect information, and non-compliant passport photos.

Before submitting your application, make sure to double-check that you’ve provided all the necessary documents and that your passport photos meet the specific requirements.

How to Renew or Replace a Real Canada Passport?

A real Canada passport is typically valid for ten years, after which it needs to be renewed. To renew your passport, you can do it online, in-person or by mail. To renew online, you must meet specific eligibility criteria. Among those, the most important is that your previous passport must have been issued to you when you were 16 years of age or older, and it’s still valid, in good condition, and unexpired.

If you need to replace a lost or stolen passport, you must follow specific steps to report the loss or theft and apply for a new passport. You’ll also need to provide additional documentation, such as a police report, and pay the associated fees.

Other Government-Issued Documents You Can Use in Lieu of a Real Canada Passport

If you don’t have a real Canada passport, there are other government-issued travel documents that you can use to travel internationally. The most common one is a NEXUS card, which is issued to frequent travelers between Canada and the United States. A NEXUS card allows passport-free travel between the two countries.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Real Canada Passport

To ensure your passport application is processed without any issues, it’s crucial to avoid common mistakes when applying. These mistakes include:

  • Providing incorrect or incomplete information
  • Not submitting all the required documents
  • Not including correct passport photos
  • Not meeting eligibility criteria

By double-checking and ensuring everything is correct and meeting all eligibility criteria, you can avoid delays or mistakes in your passport application process.


A real Canada passport is a crucial travel document for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, allowing you to travel abroad while confirming your identity and citizenship. Obtaining, renewing, or replacing a real Canada passport requires specific documents, fees, and eligibility criteria, which are essential to follow. By being informed about the requirements and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure a seamless process for obtaining or renewing your passport.


Can I renew my passport before it expires?

Yes, you can renew your passport up to one year before it expires.

Do I need to provide my Social Insurance Number (SIN) when applying for a Canadian passport?

No, providing your SIN is optional when applying for a Canadian passport.

Can someone else submit my passport application on my behalf?

Yes, you can request a third-party to submit your passport application for you. They’ll have to provide additional documentation, such as a letter of consent from you, and their own identification.

About the Author

Raymond Broady

Raymond is immigration attorney based in Los Angeles, California. He has a law degree from Harvard University and has been practicing immigration law for over two decades. Raymond is passionate about helping clients navigate the complexities of the US immigration system, and he shares his knowledge and expertise on the blog. His articles are informative and detailed, providing readers with valuable insights into US immigration policies and procedures.

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