By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: There seems to be so much confusion over passports. I haven’t renewed mine in years. What’s the policy these days?

A: Due to new US requirements for air travel into the United States, Passport Canada offices are reported to be jammed. Starting January 23, 2007 Canadians flying into the United States will be required to carry a valid passport. In fact, the offices have been so busy that Passport Canada is advising applicants to hold off on renewals until the spring if they don’t need it immediately.

According to Passport Canada, the special operating agency of Foreign Affairs Canada is now recommending that Canadians send their applications by mail or take their applications to a Service Canada or Canada Post receiving agent. “Passport Canada is making every possible effort to meet the increase in demand while respecting its service standards," said Gérald Cossette, Passport Canada's Chief Executive Officer. "We are taking steps to reduce waiting times without jeopardizing the security and the integrity of the Canadian passport" he added in a press release.

For a complete checklist on the passport application process, and locations of Passport Canada offices and Canada Post/Service Canada receiving agents, visit or call them at toll-free 1-800-567-6868


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