Photo on  Pixabay

Photo on Pixabay

  • Passport

  • Consent letter for children travelling abroad

  • Visa

  • International certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis

  • Travel documents for your pet



A passport is an official travel document issue by the government. It is used to verify the holder’s identity and citizenship and entitles the holder to travel under the protection of the Canadian government to and from foreign countries. Canadians of all ages need a passport to travel. They are 36-page booklets containing a microchip, also called electronic passports. The Passport Program is responsible for issuing, renewing, refusing and revoking passports to Canadians. There are 34 issuing offices and 190 service centres. The Passport Program also works hand in hand with the Government of Canada offices abroad to assist travellers and expats. There are 5 types of passports; regular passports, diplomatic passports, special passports, emergency passports and temporary passports.


Photo by  Agus Dietrich  on  Unspla  s  h

To apply for a passport, you need to fill out the forms available at the Passport Service Locations, Canada Post offices, Service Canada Offices, Government of Canada Offices Abroad or on the Passport Program website. You’ll also need to provide a proof of Canadian citizenship, a document that supports your identity, two identical and identified passport pictures, a guarantor to testify of your identity and two references who have known you for at least two years and aren’t family members. The cost of a passport varies between $57 and $160, depending on the age of the applicant and duration of the passport validity, plus postal and accelerated service fees that can be up to $110. Processing times vary between 10 and 20 business days, excluding mailing, provided that the application has been properly filled out and includes all required documents.


The Government of Canada can issue two different types of travel documents for non-citizens; the refugee travel document and certificate of identity. Visit the official governmental website for more information about these documents. Canadians with dual citizenship are required to travel with a valid Canadian passport.


Permanent residents must have the Canadian card proving their status and a valid passport issued by their country of residence to be granted re-entry.


Consent Letter for Children Travelling Abroad

Although it is not mandatory, it is highly suggested for kids to travel with a consent letter, as it could be requested by the border agents of the visited country or by Canadian officials when returning. The letter must be notarized and signed by anyone with a parental, guardianship or custody right not travelling with the child. Consent letter samples and interactive forms are available online.



Photo on  Rawpixel

Photo on Rawpixel

A visa is an official document, usually stamped or glued in your passport, allowing you to travel, study or work in a specific country. Visas are issued by foreign government offices in Canada before you leave or in sometimes upon arrival at your destination’s border agency office at the airport. Canadians can travel to about 185 countries without any entry requirement. Most countries will issue tourist visas for trips under 30 days, 90 days or 6 months. Some countries might request a return ticket to grant a visa. Applying for a visa may take several weeks and cost money, so it is recommended to start the process as soon as possible to ensure that processing times will respect your travel plans. Visit the Travel Advices and Advisories page for up-to-date information about your destination.


International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis

In order to protect locals and visitors, some countries may require a certificate of vaccination for certain diseases such as yellow fever and poliomyelitis. If failing to present a certificate, the border agents might propose to provide vaccination on site, impose quarantine or deny entrance. The World Health Organization monitors the presence of yellow fever and vaccination requirements worldwide. Vaccines shortages are common so contact a designated vaccination centre as soon as possible. The vaccine offers a 10-year protection. Visit travel.gc.ca to learn more about recommended and mandatory immunization.


Travel Documents for Your Pet

Photo by  Oscar Sutton  on  Un  s  plash

If you travel with a pet, you might be required to provide some documents. If you have a dog or a cat, you should ask your veterinarian to fill out the Canadian International Health Certificate and have it endorsed by an official government veterinarian. Some countries might also require to place your pet under quarantine or have a local veterinarian evaluate and fill out their own health certificate. It is recommended to contact the consular office of the country you are planning on visiting to have to most up-to-date information about requirements. If you own an exotic pet, you’ll have to obtain a CITES permit (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). These permits are often required for the transportation of exotic plants and animals.


Proof of Insurance

Although it is not mandatory to have an insurance, we strongly recommend always travelling with a comprehensive one and keeping a proof of insurance on you at all time. Medical service providers could even deny you if you fail to present a proof of insurance. Should you be unconscious, it could turn out to be a matter of life or death! Have a look at this guide to better understand the different types of coverage and help you make good choices.