In development since 2013, Canada’s revamped new passport is here, improved with advanced state-of-the-art security features.
The new passport design removes references to Canada’s history and heritage, while including imagery that illustrates Canada as a diverse and inclusive society to new Canadian citizens and reflects a sense of national pride. Unveiling the passport update, the Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said that digital applications to renew valid passports would come into effect in the Autumn to optimise passport services.
Passengers with upcoming foreign travels will be relieved to learn that they no longer need to visit a passport office but can upload the necessary travel documents with a passport photo to the government website.
As a commonwealth country, Canada’s redesigned passport incorporates the Coat of Armsan making reference to King Charles III, although production of the passport came before the King was able to give his approval.
The government confirmed the passport took 10 years to develop with revised security features to minimise counterfeiting.
“One of the things that I heard was we want to celebrate our diversity and inclusion, we want to celebrate our natural environment … and [we] tried to bake those elements into the design.”
Security is at the heart of the passport’s new aesthetic as over time counterfeiters develop the techniques to overcome the security protections on passports to abuse documents and produce fraudulent copies.
The next-generation passport, designed by Canadian Bank Note Company, will be available in summer 2023 but holders of the old style passport may still use it until the expiry date.
Conservative party leader, Pierre Poilievre criticised the government’s passport changes who argued that the passport amounted to a “colouring book” and erased all traces of Canada’s proud history.
Figures of history preserved in the passport’s pages have been removed including the Fathers of Confederation and Terry Fox on his Marathon of Hope.
The personal information of holders will be laser engraved to strengthen the polycarbonate data page of the passport. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirmed the addition of other features for security including “a custom see-through window with a secondary image of the passport holder, a variable laser image, and a temperature sensitive ink feature”.