Types of passports and travel documents

Canada issues around five million travel documents a year. Of these, 98% are regular (blue) passports.

Canada-issued travel documents include:

  • four types of passports issued to Canadians
  • two types of travel documents issued to refugees or stateless persons living in Canada

Canadian passports

Regular passport

We issue regular (blue) passport to Canadian citizens for casual travel, such as:

  • vacations
  • business trips

The regular passport has 36 pages. The validity depends on the age of the passport holder:

  • adults, age 16 years or older, can choose a 5-year or 10-year passport
  • children, aged 0 to 15 years, are issued passports for a maximum of 5 years
Regular passport booklet

Diplomatic passport

We issue diplomatic passports to:

  • diplomats
  • high-ranking Government of Canada officials
  • representatives and delegates of the Government of Canada

You can use diplomatic passports for travel to:

  • a post abroad
  • international governmental organizations  and conferences of a diplomatic nature

The issuing office decides the validity period.

Diplomatic passport booklet

Special passport

We issue special passports to:

  • senators
  • members of Parliament
  • people employed by the Government of Canada who are in a non-diplomatic capacity and travelling:
    • to a post abroad
    • on an official mission

The issuing office decides the validity period.

Special passport booklet

Temporary passport

Certain Canadian government offices abroad may issue temporary passports.

  • with an urgent and proven need for a passport
  • waiting to get a regular, special or diplomatic passport

The issuing office decides how long the passport is valid. It can only be valid for a maximum of one year.

Temporary passport booklet

Emergency travel documents

We may issue Canadians an emergency travel document in urgent cases where they cannot get a temporary passport.

We issue an emergency travel document with a limited validity to allow you to:

Canadian travel documents

Refugee travel document

We issue refugee travel documents to people in Canada with protected-person status. This includes:

  • Convention refugees
  • persons in need of protection

You can use a refugee travel document for travel to all countries, except your country of citizenship.

The issuing office decides the validity period.

Refugee travel document

Certificate of identity

We issue certificates of identity to permanent residents of Canada who aren’t yet Canadian citizens and who are:

  • otherwise stateless or
  • can’t, for a valid reason, get a national passport or travel document from any source

You can’t use a certificate of identity to travel to your country of citizenship.

The issuing office decides the validity period.

Certificate of identity booklet
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