IMPORTANT ID & TRAVEL INFORMATION
November 26th, 2014 - 3:29pm
With the arrival of our first snow fall, and the coming holiday season, many constituents often approach my office seeking last minute help with travel identification.
Unfortunately, we are often unable to help with these situations because of the time required to have identification or supporting documents issued. It is very important that individuals make sure they have all of their identification and travel documents up to date before booking travel outside of Canada.
As of October 20th, 2014, new requirements have been implemented by the Harper Conservatives which may make the process more time consuming for some individuals.
If you are considering travelling this winter, please keep the following information in mind:
Canadian Passports generally require a 10 working day turnaround to be issued or renewed. The FASTEST way to get your passport processed is to go in person to the Passport Canada office at Cherryhill Mall on Oxford St.
URGENT PASSPORTS can only be applied for in person at the Passport Canada Office.
Proof of travel is required for urgent service and an additional fee of $110 is applied. Some examples of proof of travel are: an airline, bus or train ticket; a travel itinerary showing proof of payment; or a written statement, if travelling by car (acceptance is at the discretion of the passport officer).
Passports for children now require the parents to produce a Long Form Birth Certificate. This document is issued by the Province of Ontario. If the child was adopted, the court issued order of adoption indicating the name of the adoptive parent(s). For children not born in Canada, a foreign birth certificate indicating the names of the parent(s).
The passport application must be signed by BOTH parents if both parents are listed on the documents.
Children under 16 years of age travelling with family members or friends other than their parents should have a travel consent letter accompanying them. The Government of Canada provides a sample letter which individuals can use for this purpose. It can be downloaded at: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/children/consent-letter
Adult applicants must now be able to provide an identity document that includes: name, date of birth, gender, photo, and signature. If someone cannot provide such a document, the passport office can accept multiple pieces of identification or documentation to prove identity, but all the documents submitted must share at least one common identifier (for example, the name must be the same on all documents).
Due to the significant cuts made by the Harper Conservatives to our public services, wait times for service across all departments have increased. Permanent Resident card renewals currently have about a 6 month waiting time for processing.
URGENT processing of a Permanent Resident Card will be considered under circumstances where you are:
- travelling in the next three months, and
- returning to Canada on a commercial vehicle, like an airplane, train, boat or bus.
BUT, urgent processing requires that you show both proof of travel and proof of payment with the application.
The proof of travel, such as tickets or an itinerary, must show:
- the dates you will be traveling,
- your personal information such as your full name, and
- your destination (where you are going).
The proof of payment must show full price for your travel. It must show:
- the date that you paid,
- the amount paid, and
- how you paid.
URGENT PROCESSING SHOULD BE SENT REGISTERED MAIL (THIS WILL PROVIDE A TRACKING NUMBER TO ENSURE IT IS RECEIVED) AND “URGENT PROCESSING, DOCUMENTS ENCLOSED” SHOULD BE WRITTEN ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENVELOPE IN LARGE BLOCK LETTERS.
PLEASE NOTE, URGENT PROCESSING HAS NO GUARANTEED DELIVERY TIME AND IS STILL A MINIMUM OF 3 WEEKS!
It is important we all remember that travelling abroad is a privilege and it is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure their identification, passports, and travel documents are in good order.
It is also important to remember that when travelling abroad, you are subject to the laws of the country you are visiting.
Before travelling, I encourage everyone to visit www.travel.gc.ca to learn about travel advisories, assistance abroad, and other important information about your rights and responsibilities are.