facebook Renewing a Canadian Passport Abroad - Escape Artist

Renewing a Canadian Passport Abroad

You have taken that brave step and moved to another country. You may have a second passport, temporary or permanent residency, or perhaps have some type of visa allowing you an extended stay.

But your passport in your home country is going to expire soon. It’s not feasible to travel back and go through the process. What do you do? Do not worry. The process is simpler than you think. Here are the steps to renewing a Canadian passport abroad.

Do You Qualify to Renew Your Passport?

There are differing reasons why people need to renew their passports besides expiry. Only adult passports can be renewed. If you’re under 16, you will need to apply for a new child passport. Check the details here to see if you qualify for a renewal.

When Do You Renew?

The best time to renew is six months before your passport expires. Do not make any travel plans during this time because many countries will not allow you to enter if your passport expires in less than six months. Check the entry requirements for the country you plan to visit to be safe. Hang tight, keep planning, but don’t book anything until you have your renewed passport in your hot little hands.

Renewing a passport is simpler than applying for a new one because you will not need a guarantor, proof of Canadian citizenship, or supporting identification. You will only need to complete the online form, get all the required documents and passport photos, provide two references, submit your application and fees, and get your passport.

My Experience Renewing a Canadian Passport Abroad

My husband and I recently renewed our Canadian passports while living in Mexico. The process was easier than expected. We found a recommended photographer from a friend in town who had also gone through the process. We walked in, sat down, took our photos and had them developed within 30 minutes. Make sure you follow the passport photo requirements for Canada. Tell the photographer the pictures are for a Canadian passport renewal because the requirements are different for the United States and other countries. To be certain, you can print a copy of the passport photo specifications and take them with you. You don’t want your photos to be rejected because then you will have to do the process all over and pay the high (yes, it’s not cheap) fees to send in another application.

The passport renewal forms were online to be completed and printed then couriered to the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City. Our renewed passports would be couriered back to us within 20 business days. Sure enough, within the 20 days, our passports were delivered. Do note your old passport must be sent along with your renewal application. There is a box to tick on the form if you want your old passport returned. If you do not tick the box, your passport will be destroyed and not returned to you.

It felt odd sending our passports off to Mexico City. Being without your passport in a foreign country is a little unsettling; however, we do have temporary residency cards and driver’s licenses for identification purposes.

To add a little twist to the story, we had our passports delivered to our friend’s house in Mexico. The mail system in Mexico is atrocious as delivery takes forever or items will never arrive. We sent a letter from Mexico City to Canada, and it took six weeks. The passports are sent by courier, so why does this matter? Well, there is a house about two blocks away from us with the same address as ours. Yes. The same street and house number. And the GPS always takes people to the wrong house. Passports arriving at the wrong house is not good. To request your passports be delivered to another address than your residence, indicate this on the renewal form and include a separate piece of paper on the top of your application with the mailing address you want your passports sent to.

Experience the Insider community that takes your international lifestyle to the next level. Download your FREE guide

"18 Steps to Implementing Your Plan B" instantly!

Breaking Down the Process

The first step is to visit the Canadian government website and answer their brief questionnaire to determine which steps to follow. The process is different if you are renewing from the U.S. or from another country. If you are outside Canada and the U.S. then you go here.

On this page, you can determine who can renew a passport, when to renew your passport, forms, instructions, and fees.

If your passport was lost, damaged, or stolen, the process is different. Follow the steps here to find out who can renew a passport.

Fees must be paid online before submitting your application. Make sure to print off your receipt as you must include it in the envelope with your application. Review the fees and pay online here. Refunds will not be issued once the process starts so be sure you have your ducks in a row before you begin.

Alternatively, you can pay at a Canadian consulate or embassy abroad. Payment options depend on where you apply so it’s best to contact the embassy or consulate ahead of time for payment options. You will also likely have to make an appointment if you plan to visit the consulate or embassy.

Top Questions About Renewing Passports Abroad

Maybe you need to renew your Canadian passport for other reasons. Such as:

Do Dual Citizens Need to Renew Their Canadian Passport to Return to Canada?

Yes. Dual citizens are required to have a valid Canadian passport to travel through or to Canada by air. Make sure to carry both your passports with you when you travel. Find out more on why you must travel with a valid Canadian passport when travelling by air.

Canadian-American dual citizens need either a valid U.S. passport or a valid Canadian passport. If you travel with just your valid U.S. passport, you will need to show documentation proving you are a Canadian citizen.

What Should I do if My Passport is Lost, Damaged, or Stolen?

Your passport is the number one document to protect while travelling. No passport. No travel. If you lose it or it’s stolen, you might be stuck somewhere for a while. Check out here how to find out the options available to you if one of these unfortunate events happens to you.

How to Renew a Canadian Passport from the United States

The process isn’t much different except you can either send your completed application by traceable mail or courier to the Government of Canada in Gatineau, Quebec. You also have the option to send your fee by mail rather than paying online or at a consulate or embassy.

It’s All in the Details When Renewing Your Canadian Passport Abroad

People are often worried about how to take care of the little details when they move abroad such as how to renew a passport while abroad, how to open a bank account in another country, how to get a driver’s license, etc. This article covers one detail, how to renew your Canadian passport abroad. If details like this are preventing you from moving to another country, don’t let fear stop you. The timing is never perfect and you will never know everything. We are here to provide you with solid information to help you put your Plan B in place. For the deeper details, subscribe to Escape Artist Insiders magazine where our Insider circle shares their experiences of living, working, and doing business abroad. And now you can get an annual subscription and the previous year’s archive for a great bundled price!

Charlotte TweedCharlotte Tweed is an adventurous soul with a goal to take you on a journey where you don’t just visit—you live it. Graduating with a Travel and Tourism Honours diploma, Charlotte began her expat journey on June 15, 2021. After travelling through multiple countries, Charlotte now calls Mexico home. Reading, writing, and researching the best expat destinations in the world are how she fills her days. As a published author, her mission is to transform your life with expat travel—one destination, one adventure, one story at a time.

EA Store

Like Our Articles?

Then make sure to check out our Bookstore... we have titles packed full of premium offshore intel. Instant Download - Print off for your private library before the government demands we take these down!