CIC News Update: Improved Passport Services

Canadian passports will now be administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) instead of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced on May 8, 2013.

This change is in-line with other governmental reforms designed to make immigration benefits more convenient and efficient.

“As Citizenship and Immigration Canada is already responsible for determining Canadian citizenship, integrating the passport program into the department makes good sense,” said Minister Kenney in a CIC news release.

The actual shift of responsibilities will take place on July 2, 2013, so citizens interested in updating their passports before that should use the old system until then.

Indeed, residents will continue using the same facilities as they did before for their passport needs.

Another reason for the shift is the transition to the CIC’s IT system, which is much more capable than the system currently in use, as it is, “nearing the end of its lifespan”.

Passports are available for all Canadian citizens and are very necessary for international travel. They also are a convenient form of proof of your Canadian citizenship.

Passports contain a sheet of personal, biographic information as well as many blank pages for visa stamps that you may receive during your travels. If you expect that you will use all of these sheets up before your passport expires you may want to consider purchasing additional sheets. Canadian passports have red covers.

If you are not yet a citizen of Canada you may want to consider going through that process. The international protection you get from holding a Canadian passport is extremely valuable.

Canadian citizens looking for passport services abroad will continue to contact the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.