IRCC Minister Transition Binder 2019: Canada’s Passport Program
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issues Canadian travel documents that are internationally recognized and respected. These documents facilitate travel for Canadians, certain stateless permanent residents and protected persons.
- Passports provide Canadians with:
- access to consular services aboard;
- confirmation of a right to return to Canada; and
- facilitated crossings at automated border gates around the world.
- The integrity of the Canadian passport is internationally recognized and respected and is a key factor in maintaining safe, secure and visa-free access to over 180 countries for Canadians.
Did you know?
- Approximately 66% of all Canadians hold a valid passport.
- There are over 24.5 million passports in circulation.
- In 2018-2019, there were 3.1 million passports issued.
Government of Canada Delivery Partners
There are multiple Government of Canada departments involved in the delivery of the Passport Program:
Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
- Is mandated by the Canadian Passport Order to issue, cancel, revoke, withhold and recover Canadian passports
The Minister of Public Safety
- Is responsible for passport cancellation, refusal and revocation in cases of terrorism and national security
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
- Provides domestic service delivery (through Service Canada)
Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
- Provides passport services abroad through its consular service network
How Does a Canadian Obtain a Passport?
Regular (Blue Passports)
- Applications are available at Service Canada offices or can be downloaded from the IRCC website. Completed paper forms are submitted to a Service Canada office, a Member of Parliament’s office, or by mail. Online submission of a passport application is not currently available.
- Adult applicants can choose between a 5-year ($120 in Canada / $190 abroad) or a 10-year ($160 in Canada / $260 aboard) passport. Children can obtain a 5-year passport ($57).
Special Passports (Green Passports)
- Are issued to people holding office, such as Members of Parliament, Senators, members of provincial Cabinets, and to people employed by the Government of Canada in a non-diplomatic capacity travelling on an official mission or to a post abroad.
Diplomatic Passports (Red Passports)
- Are issued to high-ranking Government of Canada officials and diplomats, as well as representatives and delegates of the Government of Canada to international governmental organizations and international conferences of a diplomatic nature.
Other Travel Documents
IRCC also issues travel documents for certain newcomers:
- Refugee travel documents for persons considered refugees under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees or for persons who fall under the terms of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
- Certificates of Identity for permanent residents of Canada who are without nationality or who are unable to obtain travel documentation from their country of origin.
- For Canadians abroad in emergency situations, IRCC issues temporary passports and/or emergency travel documents.
Service Delivery Network
In Canada, Service Canada processes the bulk of passports:
- 34 full service offices, 2 print centres, 2 call centres; and,
- 315 Service Canada receiving agent locations.
Abroad, Global Affairs Canada processes the bulk of passports (221 missions in 145 countries):
- 122 full service offices and access to the 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre; and,
- 90 supervised partial service missions, including Honorary Consuls.
One IRCC office provides official travel (green and red) passports, certificates of identity and refugee travel documents.
Did you know?
The extensive domestic network has enabled the Program to deliver a high level of service to Canadians:
- 93% of Canadian passport holders reside within 50 km of a passport point of service.
- 99% of clients receive their passport within established service standards.
- 96% client satisfaction rate.
- The Passport Program operates on a full cost-recovery basis. It generates its revenue through the fees paid for passports and other travel documents. None of its funding comes from taxpayers.
- The current information technology system used to process passports is reaching the end of its life span.
Actions to modernize the Passport Program include:
- Updating aging systems to improve Program capabilities and developing high-quality online services that respond to and meet client needs
- Working with Government of Canada delivery partners (Global Affairs Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada) to improve services to meet client expectations
- Canada’s passport is internationally recognized and respected.
- IRCC works with other Government of Canada partners including Public Safety, Employment and Social Development Canada and Global Affairs Canada to deliver the Passport Program.
- The Passport Program is undergoing a modernization and is moving away from a largely paper-based process.
- The Passport Revolving Fund needs to be managed sustainably over the 10-year cycle (2013-2014 to 2022-2023) – to balance surplus revenues and future shortfalls while ensuring the Program is modern, secure, and continues to provide a high standard of service.
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