Is a passport required to travel to Canada?

If you want to travel to Canada soon, you will need a valid passport. Find out which passport you need and how to get one.

Apply for an ETA Canada

Are you planning to travel to Canada soon for tourism, business or simply to visit a relative? In this case, you must have a valid passport in your name. Canada is one of the countries where a simple identity card will not be sufficient to enter the country. Being outside the European Union, Canada requires travellers from abroad to present a passport and a residence permit of the eTA or visa type.


The type of passport required for travel to Canada and other documents:

The passport you will need to present when travelling to Canada must of course be an official and valid passport to be accepted by the Canadian authorities.

Therefore, always remember to check the validity date of your passport before taking any other steps to prepare for your trip to Canada. If you find that your passport is due to expire before the date of your stay, remember to renew it before applying for a visa or eTA.

Indeed, in addition to your passport, you must have a legal residence permit in your possession to be able to enter Canada. This can be an eTA which can be applied for directly online or a traditional visa. If you renew your passport during your stay in Canada, you will have to apply for a new entry permit.

For a traditional visa, you should also make sure that your passport has a blank page on which to affix it. With the eTA programme, this will not be necessary as it is an electronic residence permit which is linked to the passport by computer.

It should also be noted that temporary passports as well as passports issued by certain countries such as Somalia, the Czech Republic or Venezuela may be refused upon arrival in the country. It is also important to note that children travelling to Canada must also have an individual passport in their name.


Where and how to apply for or renew a passport for Canada?

If you do not have a valid passport to start the application process for an eTA or a visa for Canada, or if your passport has expired or is about to expire, you will need to apply quickly as the time taken to obtain this official document can be long. You can go to any town hall, regardless of your city of residence. A file can be downloaded online beforehand to make the process quicker.

If your passport has expired more than 5 years ago or if you have never had a passport, you will also need to provide a valid ID or one that has expired less than 5 years ago or a birth certificate that is less than 3 months old.


Other legal documents required for travel to Canada :

In addition to your passport, in order to be able to travel to Canada, you must have an official residence permit. This can be a visa or, more simply, an eTA.

Indeed, for a few years now, it has no longer been necessary for some travellers to Canada to have a visa to go to the country since a new system, 100% online, has been put in place: the eTA.

This is an electronic residence permit that no longer requires travel or sending a file to an embassy. All you have to do is fill in an online questionnaire in a few minutes using your passport number and you will receive confirmation of your eTA by email within 72 hours.

To benefit from this advantageous programme, you must be a resident of one of the member countries of the system, including the countries of the European Union, have a valid passport which is valid for the entire stay, be going to Canada for tourism or a business trip, plan to stay in the country for less than 6 consecutive months and, of course, meet all the security requirements and health standards demanded.

If you meet these conditions, simply go to the official website or to a website offering this online form, such as the one we recommend on this page, and follow the instructions. Then pay the processing fee online to validate your application. If you are eligible for authorisation, you will receive confirmation by email within 72 hours. There will be no need to print this authorisation as it will be automatically attached to the passport number given on the form. This authorization will be valid for 5 years and can be used for multiple trips to Canada.

If you are not eligible for an eTA to travel to Canada, you will need to apply for a regular visa for that country, which can take up to several weeks and will involve higher costs.


When to renew a passport before travelling to Canada?

In any case, a trip to Canada requires a valid passport. It is therefore essential to renew your passport before the day of your departure if it has expired.

But there are also other elements to take into account to find the best time to renew your passport. Indeed, as we have just seen, an eTA is valid for 5 years once obtained. But you can only use this authorisation if your passport number has not changed. When you renew your passport, this number will change and you will need to apply for a new eTA.

If you find that your passport covers your entire stay in Canada but expires shortly thereafter, it may be wise to consider renewing it before your departure in order to take full advantage of the 5-year validity period of this authorization.

Another thing you need to consider when applying for a passport is how long it will take to get the document. While an eTA can be obtained in a few hours or days at most, a passport takes a little longer. You should apply at least two months before your intended stay to make sure you get it in time.

Apply for an ETA Canada

Frequently asked questions

Is a national identity card sufficient for travel to Canada?

While some countries accept travellers from the UK and other EU countries with a simple identity card, this is not the case in Canada. In order to travel to Canada, you must have a valid, official, permanent (nontemporary) passport. The validity of this passport must also cover your entire stay and will be attached to an official residence permit such as a visa or an eTA.

Is it necessary to affix an eTA to my passport for Canada?

If you are applying for a regular visa to travel to Canada, you will need to ensure that your visa has a blank page on which to affix it. However, this is not necessary for the eTA as it is an electronic authorisation attached to the passport number. You do not have to print out your eTA and put it in your passport, as immigration officials will see it by entering your passport number or by scanning it.

How long is a passport to Canada valid for?

It is of course essential that your passport is valid on the date of your departure for Canada, but be aware that the validity of this document must also cover your entire stay in the country. If this is not the case, make sure you renew your passport before your trip and before applying for an eTA online.