Tips for Getting a Child Canadian Passport
I knew it needed to be done but I wasn’t looking forward to it. Every time Cameron and I had to get our Canadian passports renewed, it was a hassle. Baby B was already 1 month old and we had booked our airline tickets for our first international trip. It was time to get his passport.
I was dreading it!
I didn’t know where to start or how long the process would take but to my surprise it was very easy to get Baby B’s Canadian passport.
Do I need a Passport for my child?
If you plan to travel with your child you will need a passport. Even if it’s just over the border to the United States regardless of the mode of transportation (plane, car, train).
Where Can I Download And Fill In The Canadian Passport Application?
You will need to fill in the child and parent information, proof of Canadian citizenship (Canadian birth certificate or certificate of Canadian citizenship), guarantor information, payment information (under 3 years of age $22.00), and optional emergency contact information. The form can be found here.
A mistake that I made – It’s not mandatory but strongly recommended by passport Canada (helping to avoid possible delays) to provide a birth certificate detailing the parents names.
When you apply for a child birth certificate you are given two options, one with parent names and one without. They are the same price ($27.00). If you plan to apply for a passport, get the birth certificate with the parent names. The form can be found here.
I was happy to find out that a guarantor can be a family member provided they qualify under passport Canada’s rules and guidelines.
Where do I Get Passport Pictures Taken?
This was the most challenging part of the application since Baby B was only 1 month old. There are 19 rules for passport photos which make it difficult to get a good photo with an infant. For example, eyes must be open, no hands can be shown holding the child, etc.
1) Go to a place which is understanding of children. I first went to Black’s Cameras and they refused me because of the hassle with an infant. I then went to Sears who guaranteed the photo would be accepted and was understanding that the photo was for an infant. It took about 40 shots before we got one that was acceptable!
2) Bring a face cloth that you can wet. Since Baby B was only a month old and his eyes needed to be open, having a wet face cloth to dab on his face helped when he wanted to go back to sleep.
3) Plan for a couple hours. You might get lucky, but it took us about a half an hour to get the shot. Then I needed to wait for the photo to be ready.
Note: your passport will be refused if the photo of the child does not meet the specifications of passport Canada.
How Do I Apply For A Child Passport?
You can apply in person or by mail. There are different locations across Canada if applying in person or you can send it by mail to their office in Gatineau Quebec.
We decided to apply in person since you get your passport quicker and I didn’t need to send in Baby B’s birth certificate. Instead, I brought it with me and they photocopied it and gave it right back. If you plan to mail the application you will get the birth certificate back but you still need to mail it.
I was fully prepared to wait for hours while getting Baby B’s infant passport at a designated office.
This is when I was pleasantly surprised!
The normal process for someone who already has a passport is you go to the first counter where they check to make sure all your documents are correctly filled in and process your payment. Then you are given a number to wait for the second counter who finalizes the application. This is when I typically always need to wait 2 or 3 hours for my number to be called.
With Baby B’s application we went to the first counter and that was it! It took us 10 minutes to wait to see the first counter person. They took our money, put his application together, checked to ensure everything was complete, and that was it!
The whole application process was seamless. Within 10 days his passport had arrived and we were excited to take him on his very first plane ride.