• New Canadian passport: What’s changed?

    A Canadian ePassport cannot be read unless the passport is within 10 cm of the reader, limiting opportunities for information to be read maliciously. (Canada.gc.ca photo)

    A Canadian ePassport cannot be read unless the passport is within 10 cm of the reader, limiting opportunities for information to be read maliciously. (Canada.gc.ca photo)

    Canadian passports are going high-tech. All new passports issued starting July 1, 2013, will conform to the standard electronic passport protocols.

    An ePassport contains the holder’s personal information on a chip embedded in the passport. A CBC report notes that Canada is the last of the G7 nations to adopt these passports. About 100 countries currently issue them.

    Canada will also offer 10-year passports for the first time, at a rate of $160. Previously, all passport holders have been limited to 5 years. A 5-year passport option will still be offered (at a rate of $120), and all passports for those under the age of 16 will be valid for 5 years. The fee increase is the first increase since 2001, other than a $2 shipping charge added in 2005.

    Current holders of Canadian passports are not required to immediately replace them. They will remain valid until their listed expiration date.

    More information is available on the Passport Canada website, in English and in French.

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