Over the past few weeks, my constituency offices have received numerous calls concerning changes to passport application procedures.
The Simplified Passport Renewal Process offers Canadians the opportunity to replace their passports without having to resubmit documents to support their application and guarantor information.
This new process, introduced in August, applies to Canadians who meet the following criteria:
•live in Canada;
•have been at least 16 years of age at the time of their previous application;
•have a five-year passport issued after Jan. 31, 2002 in Canada that has not been altered, damaged, or reported as lost or stolen;
•have lived in Canada when their passport was issued; and
•apply using the same name that appears on the previous (expiring/expired) passport.
The applicant must provide a completed form, including the current fee, two new photos, and their previous passport in order for Passport Canada to process the Simplified Passport Renewal.
As of Oct. 1, a new guarantor policy is in effect. This new policy allows most Canadian adult passport-holders residing in Canada or the U.S. to act as guarantors for passport applications.
Under the new policy, an eligible guarantor must:
•be a Canadian citizen 18 years of age or older;
•hold a five-year valid Canadian passport or one expired for no more than one year;
•have been 16 years of age of older when they applied for their own passport; and
•have known the applicant personally for at least two years.
These changes are designed to improve the efficiency in applying for a passport. Now any family member, as well as any individual residing at the applicant’s address, may act as a guarantor provided her or she meets these requirements.
I also would like to remind Canadian citizens travelling to the United States by land or water that as of Jan. 31, 2008, you are required to present two pieces of government-issued photo identification.
This may be a driver’s licence and a birth certificate or a citizenship card.
Youths under 16 may present a birth certificate or a valid passport.
Canadian citizens flying to or through the U.S. must present a valid Canadian passport.
The Government of Canada will continue to keep Canadians informed as the United States makes further changes to its entry requirements.
For more information on changes to passport applications or documentation required for travel to the United States, visit www.pptc.gc.ca or www.cbsa.gc.ca or call 1-800-567-6868.