Passports

Passports: Frequently Asked Questions for Canadians in the USA

Our offices in the United States do not provide regular passport services.

Canadians in the United States can submit an application by mail or courier to Canada.

Applications can be submitted in person at any Passport Canada service location in Canada. For information on forms, processing times, submission procedures, and fees, please consult the Passport Canada page for Canadians in the United States.

The requirements for passport photos in the US are different from those in Canada. Submitting an unacceptable photo will result in your application being rejected and returned to you. Photos must be taken in person by a commercial photographer and must comply with the Passport Program's requirements listed on this website. (Print a copy of the Passport photo specifications (PDF, 1.27 MB) to take with you to the photographer.)

Processing of applications

  • I have a question about how to apply for a passport. Who do I call? How do I check on the status of my passport application?
    Call Passport Canada directly toll free from the USA at 1-800-567-6868 or use the general enquiry form. To check the status of your application online, use the status request form for an adult or for a child.
  • I have six months remaining on my passport. How soon should I apply for a new one?
    New passports can be applied for up to one year prior to expiration.
  • I will be in Canada next week. Can I apply at a Regional office of Passport Canada?
    Yes. If you submit an application in person, or if an application is submitted on your behalf by an acceptable third party at a Passport Canada office in Canada, Passport Canada will courier the passport to your U.S. address. However, as some limitations may apply, you should seek confirmation of service availability from Passport Canada by contacting them toll free at 1-800-567-6868.
  • I have seen the processing times, but I need my passport sooner. What are my options?
    Urgent and express service is only available in person at a Passport Canada office in Canada. Additional fees will apply and proof of travel is required.
    If you require a passport in exceptional emergency circumstances (such as for travellers returning immediately to Canada but whose passport was lost or stolen, or those demonstrating need due to bereavement or critical illness in their family) please contact the Consular Section of the Canadian Government office in the US responsible for your area/territory for advice.
  • What happens if I made a mistake and my application is rejected?
    Passport Canada will close your file and return everything to you with a letter outlining the problem and telling you how to correct it. You will not be charged the fee in this instance. You will need to correct the error and review your application carefully before sending it back to Passport Canada.
  • I am travelling to the U.S. Do I need a visa?
    Canadians entering and leaving the U.S. must carry documentation appropriate to each mode of transportation. More detailed information is available from Canada Border Services Agency. You may also wish confirm entry and exit requirements with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
  • I was recently married and I wish to change the name appearing on my passport. How do I do that? 
    To obtain a passport in your married surname, you must complete an application and provide acceptable supporting identification in your married name. You may be requested to submit your marriage certificate in support of your request.

Guarantor

  • I have reviewed form PPTC 153 (PPTC 155 for children) and the old form PPTC 140 (PPTC 142 for children) and I don't know any eligible guarantor. What options do I have?
    If you do not have a suitable guarantor, then disregard Section 2 and complete form PPTC 132. To obtain this form, please email the Consular Section of the Canadian Government office in the US responsible for your area/territory. Please note that this form is not available online.

Documentation

  • Do I need to send original proof of citizenship if I've already had a passport or if my current passport has not yet expired?
    Unless you are using the “Simplified Renewal Form” you must send the original document.
  • I am in the process of applying for a new passport but I no longer have original proof of Canadian citizenship. What do I do now?
    1. If you were born in Canada, your proof of citizenship is your birth certificate. You need to contact the Vital Statistics Office of the province where you were born to request a duplicate. 
    2. If you were born outside of Canada, your proof of citizenship is your certificate of Canadian citizenship (in the form of either a wallet-sized card with a photo on it or more recently a large paper certificate), or a Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad. If you no longer have this document, you will need to apply for a replacement.
  • The passport application requires that I submit a supplemental piece of ID. I do not have Canadian ID. Is a US driver's license or ‘green card’ acceptable?
    Please consult the Proof of Identity section for Canadians in the United States on the Passport Canada website.

Photo Specifications (NEW! - Important update: August 2015)

  • What are the requirements for photo specifications?
    The requirements for passport photos in the United States are different from those in Canada. Submitting an unacceptable photo will result in your application being rejected and returned to you. Photos must be taken in person by a commercial photographer and must comply with the Passport Program's requirements listed on this website.
  • To avoid any problems, print a copy of the Passport photo specifications (PDF, 1.27 MB) to take with you to the photographer.

Lost or stolen passports

  • My passport was lost/stolen. What do I do?
    Inform the local police, and get a police report or case number (if possible), then contact Passport Canada at 1-800-567-6868 or one of our offices to report your passport lost/stolen. Once it is reported lost, apply to Passport Canada for a new passport. The holder must complete both the full application form and include form PPTC 203 (Declaration concerning a lost, stolen, inaccessible, damaged or found Canadian travel document).
    If you are a visitor to the United States and need to return home urgently, please contact our office responsible for the area/territory where you are visiting for advice and assistance.
  • I recently lost my passport and I informed Passport Canada. Fortunately, I just found it. Can I still use it to travel?
    No. Once Passport Canada is informed a passport is no longer in the holder's possession (due to loss, theft, or inaccessibility), the passport is cancelled and can no longer be used for travel. Canadian passports are the property of the Government of Canada and passports found after the fact must be returned to the office responsible for the area/territory or to Passport Canada. 

Children's passports

  • I want to apply for a passport for my child who was born in Canada. Can I use the wallet-size birth certificate for the application?
    Please refer to the Proof of Parentage requirements on the Passport Canada website for further information.
  • I recently had a baby in the U.S. and would like to apply for his/her Canadian passport. We will be travelling soon and he/she needs a passport. What can I do?
    Children born in the U.S. are most likely American citizens and therefore eligible for U.S. passports. Please note that U.S. citizens are required by law to exit and enter the U.S. as an American citizen on a U.S. government-issued travel document. If you are requiring a U.S. passport for your child who is a U.S. citizen, please visit the U.S. State Department website.
    Canadian citizens who have children born in the United States must apply for and obtain proof of Canadian citizenship for their children before obtaining passports for them.

Emergency Assistance

Contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa anytime.

  • 1-888-949-9993 (from US and Bermuda)
  • 1-888-772-6448 (from Puerto Rico)
  • 1-866-600-0184 (from US Virgin Islands)
  • 613-996-8885 (call collect where available)
  • Email: sos@international.gc.ca