**Disclaimer, I am not an employee of the Canadian Government and have no inside knowledge of policy and procedures. I do not know when you’ll receive your new passport if you applied for one. You should call your local office if you have any specific questions. What is outlined below is the extent of my knowledge.
Do you want to know how to get an emergency Canadian passport? Getting an emergency Canadian passport can be stressful, but depending on your location and circumstances, it can be pretty straightforward. Regardless of your situation, there are currently two passport options available to Canadians. A 5-year passport will cost 120 Canadian dollars, while a 10-year passport is $160. Obviously, getting a 10-year passport is the better value.
If you’re still on Canadian soil, it’s a relatively straightforward process. For those who have lost or had their passports stolen overseas, it can be a frightening situation but don’t worry, everything will be alright.
Determine what passport services you need
Due to COVID-19, the backlog of getting a passport is insane. Fortunately, you can now book an appointment online if you don’t need a passport within the next 48 hours.
If you’re still in Canada and need a passport, when your travel plans will determine what type of service you need. Regardless of your situation, make sure you have the following documents.
- A completed application form
- Required documentation of travel (like a plane or train ticket)
- Identity documents
- Passport photos
- Passport applicationfee
Things are annoying because the requirements listed online can contradict themselves. For example, you can’t go in person to renew your passport unless your travel is within 25 days, but they say you can go to the nearest government of Canada office if your travel is between 3 to 45 business days. The website also recommends that you don’t finalize any travel plans until you get your passport. But you need proof of payment to get your passport processed.
Regardless of your travel plans, the government recommends the following based on your travel dates:
If you need your passport in 2 business days or less
- Go to a passport office that offers urgent pick-up service
- Walk-in only, no appointments
- Provide proof of travel within the next 48 hours
If you need your passport between 2 to 45 business days
- Go to a passport office
- Appointments and walk-ins allowed
- Provide proof of travel within the next 25 calendar days
- Processing may take up to 2 weeks, plus mail time
If you need your passport 46 business days or later
- Go to any Service Canada Centre
- Appointments and walk-ins allowed
- You can also apply by mail
- Processing waiting time may take up to 13 weeks
Urgent and express service Canadian passports
If you require a rush on your passport, you have two options available with an additional fee charged on top of the regular cost of your passport.
- Urgent pick-up (end of the next business day) – $110
- Express pick-up within 2-9 business days – $50
- Standard pickup (on or after 10 business days) – $20
You must show up in person when applying for urgent services. Don’t even think about sending someone in your place, you won’t get a passport this way. Of course, you’ll also need to bring a completed application, proof of citizenship or immigration status, 2 references, and 2 passport photos signed by your guarantor.
Even if your flight is in three days, you might still be able to get an emergency Canadian passport in 24 hours or less. Assuming you show up at the passport office as soon as it opens with your documents in hand, there’s a good chance you could get your passport by the end of the day. Note that this is not available at all passport offices so you should call your local one before arriving.
When requesting urgent service, you must show proof of travel in the form of a travel itinerary that’s been paid in full. Alternatively, if you’re travelling due to a medical emergency, you should bring some kind of note showing the illness or death of the family member.
Many people find travel deals but will only book if they can get their passports in time. This obviously just pisses off the passport office since they have much more important things to deal with.
How to apply for a child’s passport in Canada
A child’s passport is required for anyone under 16 years of age. Unlike adult passports, there’s only a five-year option available. A child’s passport is valid as long as the expiry date hasn’t passed, even if they’ve turned 16.
To apply for a child’s passport, you must meet one of the following conditions:
- One of the child’s parents (as long as you’re not separated or divorced)
- The parent who has custody of the child (if you are separated or divorced) with the correct documentation.
- The child’s legal guardian (documentation must be provided)
Note that both parents must sign the passport application form. If you don’t know where the other parent is, you can contact passport Canada.
Emergency Canadian passports on a weekend or holiday
Getting an emergency Canadian passports on a weekend or statutory holiday is extremely difficult. Some offices offer emergency service, however, you need the number of the standby person. The problem is, this number is not openly disclosed, and no set number works Canada-wide. For example, if you live in Toronto, a guy might be on standby on weekends. You must get that number from the Toronto office sometime during the week. If you’re finding out on Saturday that you need a passport for Sunday, you’re probably out of luck.
The only number I’ve found for weekend/holiday service is 1-800-567-6868. This is listed right on the government of Canada website.
If you find an office with weekend service, ensure everything is ready to go. As you can imagine, this kind of service is going to cost you a small fortune. It costs $335 in addition to the regular passport service fee. In many situations, it’ll be cheaper to just re-book your airline ticket for a different date (if that’s an option).
There are a few “positive” things about getting an emergency passport on a weekend or holiday. The specific instructions are given to you because passport employees will basically be waiting for you to show up with your documents. They might be opening the office just for you. As a result, you may get your passport in a few hours.
If, by chance, your whole family requires emergency weekend service, you’ll only be charged the $335 once. Any additional applications submitted by members of the same family at the same time will only be charged the urgent pick-up fee of $110 each.
Temporary Emergency Canadian Passport
If you’re currently in a foreign country and your passport gets lost or stolen, you must immediately report it to the police or tourist police. Contact some friends back home to assist you if you haven’t already. You’ll mainly need them to be references similar to urgent services they need to be available when called. Note that family members aren’t permitted as references.
With your police report, locate and head to the closest Canadian Embassy or consulate. You’ll also need your references, passport photos and contact information ready to go. You can speed up the processing time if you have a scanned copy of your passport and your travel itinerary handy, but generally speaking, you’re still looking at 2-4 days.
When applying for a temporary Canadian passport (white), you’ll be required to simultaneously apply for your regular passport. You’ll also have to pay an exchange fee since that temporary Canadian passport must be returned in person or by traceable mail. If someone back home has access to your birth certificate and photo ID, you can ask them to bring it to the local passport office so your new passport will be valid for five years; otherwise, it may be valid for just two years.
If you’ve lost all your ID, now would be a good time to request a letter stating your identification and that you’re in the process of getting a new passport. This will help you for ID purposes if you get a money transfer from someone.
As you can imagine, not having a valid passport or losing your passport can be a real pain. Always store digital versions of your travel documents in your e-mail so you can access them any time; don’t forget to include emergency contacts of your credit and debit cards. You won’t be able to travel without a valid passport, so any upcoming flights must be rescheduled while you wait for your emergency Canadian passport. Another option is applying for a NEXUS card, which will make travelling between Canada and the U.S. easier.