There’s something singularly exciting about receiving a new passport. That precious little blue book represents the freedom to travel to far off places in relative safety.
Its new pages are the blank canvas on which we’ll paint our travel dreams: a destination wedding in Bali, an African safari, a spiritual retreat on the banks of the Ganges – the possibilities are as wide and vast as the world itself!
Canadians on the Move!
Clearly, most Canadians feel the same way about their passports, as, according to Macleans.ca, 65% of us have a valid passport. Indeed, we are a people on the move, and having a passport is becoming increasingly important, as it’s required for travel to most countries in the world, but can also be used as a form of identification for various purposes in Canada as well.
Whether you already have a passport or are thinking of getting one, the following passport information may be helpful!
Avoid the Passport Panic Attack!
There are few things more panic inducing than being about to leave for your vacation, opening your passport, and realizing that it’s expired! To avoid this travel nightmare, always make sure to check your passport expiry date before you book your vacation! This is certainly not a travel detail you want to overlook!
Optimally, you should renew your passport within 6 months of its expiry to avoid any complications or delays that could occur. Better safe than sorry!
Urgent Passport Processing
While passport expiry dates should ideally be checked months before booking a vacation, there are circumstances where you realize your passport may be days or weeks from expiring before your trip. If this is the case, don’t panic; you can use the urgent and express passport renewal option.
Processing Times for Urgent and Express Service :
● urgent pick-up: By the end of the next business day
● express pick-up: 2 to 9 business days
How to Apply for Urgent and Express Service
- Visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/passport/times.asp for urgent passport processing locations
- You must apply in person
- You’ll need proof of travel for urgent service in the form of:
-an airline, bus or train ticket
-a written declaration, if travelling by car
-a travel itinerary showing travel proof of payment
-proof of illness or death in the family requiring immediate travel
For urgent or express service, you will need to pay an additional service fee along with the regular passport fee. These include:
- urgent pick-up:
processing time: by the end of the next business day
- express pick-up:
processing time: within 2-9 business days
Your passport is a very valuable document, so when travelling it’s important to remember the following:
- Never give out your passport information
- Always keep a photocopy of your passport, and scan a copy of it in case it is misplaced, lost or stolen
- Keep your passport in a safe place at all times
- When travelling, keep your passport in a hotel safe or on your person
- Be careful whom you show your passport to when travelling
- Keep your passport covered or in a holder to protect it from water damage and wear and tear.
I’ve Lost my Passport. Now What?
The most important thing to do if you lose your passport is to report it immediately. As soon as it’s reported, it is no longer valid and cannot be used for travel. If you are in Canada, you can call the passport office or visit a passport office near you to begin the process of getting a new passport issued.
If you are travelling outside Canada and lose your passport, report it to the Government of Canada office nearest to where you are.
For more information, go to http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/passport/security/lost-stolen.asp
Armed with a valid, unexpired passport, you’re ready to fill those empty pages with bucket-list world adventures! Let’s go!