Canada’s new ePassport became available in July 2013. It may not look very different from your last passport (or even your passport from 30 years ago) but don’t judge a passport by its cover.
The ePassport is filled with new features:
1. What is an ePassport?
The Canadian government refers to the new passport as an ePassport. The reason? The old fashioned paper and ink of the past have been replaced with high-tech electronics. ePassports are embedded with a computer chip to increase security, reliability and speed.
2. Increased Security
The new passport is more secure than any other passport ever available to Canadians. Your passport is one of the most important documents that you own and it is packed full of personal information. The new ePassport makes it harder for your passport to be used by someone else. Even though the electronic chip embedded within the new passport contains a lot of info, it cannot be edited. This means that the likelihood of falling victim to identity theft is much lower than old passports.
Fake passports are used by criminals but it is almost impossible to forge the new Canadian ePassport – protecting you and Canada!
3. Easier for border security to check
Waiting to clear customs is everyone’s least favourite part of travelling. It combines the agony of standing in long lines with the nagging but (usually) unwarranted fear that you’ll be searched for no reason.
Added security means that border guards in Canada and around the world have more confidence in the Canadian passport. All a border guard has to do is take a quick glance at you and swipe the passport. When the new passport is swiped your picture and information pop-up on the guards security screen and you’ll be on your way. This means shorter lines for everyone.
4. Less Visa Requirements for Canadians
With added security comes greater international trust. Canada’s new ePassport is one of the most trusted in the world. This means that other countries are imposing fewer Visa restrictions on Canadian travellers. Considering that applying for a Visa can cost you a few hundred dollars this is a big plus!
5. 10 year Validity
No one likes getting a passport. You have to pose for grim-faced photos that somehow always seem to come out even worse than you imagined. Thankfully the new Canadian passport gives you the option of applying for the standard 5 year passport or a 10 year passports. Of course, children are still only eligible for 5 year passports. But at least you’ll only have to deal with the headache of getting a new passport once a decade.
6. It has a cool hidden surprise
It may not seem like much at first but under black-light the new passport holds some amazing surprises!
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