Types of passports and travel documents

Canada issues approximately 5 million travel documents a year, 98% of which are regular passports. There are four types of Canadian passports issued to Canadians and two types of travel documents issued to refugees or stateless persons living in Canada.

Canadian passports

Regular passport

The regular (blue) passport is issued to Canadian citizens for occasional travel, such as vacations and business trips.

The regular passport has 36 pages. The current maximum validity period varies with the age of the passport holder:

  • Adults (16 years of age or over): have the option of a 5-year or 10-year passport.
  • Children’s passports (0 to 15 years of age): are issued for a maximum of five years.
Regular passport booklet

Diplomatic passport

Diplomatic passports are issued to:

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

Diplomatic passports are used for travel to international governmental organizations and international conferences of a diplomatic nature or to a post abroad.

The validity period for this passport is determined by the issuing office.

Diplomatic passport booklet

Special passport

Special passports are issued to:

  • members of Parliament,
  • Senators,
  • people employed by the Government of Canada in a non-diplomatic capacity travelling on an official mission or to a post abroad.

The validity period for this passport is determined by the issuing office.

Special passport booklet

Temporary passport

Certain Canadian government offices abroad may issue temporary passports on behalf of the Passport Program to Canadians with an urgent and proven need for a passport, while they wait to receive a regular, special or diplomatic passport.

The validity period for this passport is determined by the issuing office but has a maximum validity of one year.

Temporary passport booklet

Emergency travel documents

Canadians may be issued an emergency travel document in cases of extreme urgency where the issuance of a temporary passport is not possible.

An emergency travel document is issued with a limited validity period to allow the bearer to return to Canada or to travel to the nearest full-service Canadian government office abroad.

Canadian travel documents

Refugee travel document

(United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 and its Protocol of 1967)

Refugee travel documents are issued to people in Canada with protected-person status, including Convention refugees and persons in need of protection.

A refugee travel document is endorsed for travel to all countries (except the bearer’s country of citizenship).

The validity period is determined by the issuing office.

Refugee travel document

Certificate of identity

Certificates of identity are issued to permanent residents of Canada who are not yet Canadian citizens, who are otherwise stateless or unable, for a valid reason, to get a national passport or travel document from any source.

A certificate of identity is not valid for travel to the bearer’s country of citizenship.

The validity period is determined by the issuing office.

Certificate of identity booklet
Date Modified: