PASSPORT AND VISA
Each country has its own requirements for entering and leaving their borders. Most countries require a passport, citizenship certificate, visa or other legal document. Ensure you and all persons travelling with you have the required documents before you attempt to enter a foreign country.
Note also that some countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months beyond your date of entry. Without the proper documents, some members of your group will have to stay at home while the rest will enjoy the trip!
As of July 2013, Canada will start issuing electronic passports. Since the Government of Canada’s announcement of this new ePassport, many questions have arisen. First: Does one need to obtain a new passport if the current one is valid? No – there is no need to replace your passport. Your current passport will remain valid until its expiration.
The highlight of this new passport:
– It will contain 36 pages compared to 24 for the current version.
– There will be an option to acquire the passport for 5 years or for 10 years ($120 or $160).
– An embedded electronic chip will make it more secure.
– The electronic chip must be held within 10 cm of an ePassport reader, and the passport must be open for the data on the chip to be accessed.
– The images on each pages will served as an extra security measure.
Frequent travellers will certainly think or foresee that with a passport that is valid for a 10 years period that the pages of their passport will be filled out by others countries custom stamps well before the expiry date of the passport. A completely filled passport means to the travellers to get a new passport, including the cost associate with it such as the cost of the passport and the photo. It might be more economical to get a 5 year passport twice if you are planning to visit many other countries within the next 10 years. This means to spend $ 320 to get two then years passport versus $ 240 for two 5 year passports.
Readers for this new electronic passport will be available at 34 Canadian Border Service Agency locations across the nation, but not all locations. Note that if the unlikely case that the chip will not work, your passport will remain valid.
A visa is a document or mark showing that a person is conditionally authorized to enter or leave the territory for which it was issued, subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. The authorization may be a document, but more commonly it is a stamp endorsed in the applicant’s passport. Visa are issued by the foreign country to be visited.
To obtain a visa you can visit the foreign country government office in person or mail it to their office as the foreign country official need to see your passport. If you need to mail it, use a secure mail service with a self-addressed return envelope
Requirements, fees and processing times vary, depending on the country and type of visa you need. The most common categories are business, work, student and tourist visas.
Before your departure, consult the Country Travel Advice and Advisories for destination-specific visa information. You will almost certainly need a visa if you plan to remain in a foreign country for a longer period (usually more than 90 days).
Some countries will issue a visa upon your arrival, but it is not a common procedure. Visas must be obtained before leaving Canada. You may be denied entry if you do not have a visa when you arrive in a country that requires one.
You are responsible for ensuring that your passport contains empty visa pages. If the pages of your passport have become filled with visas or entry and exit stamps, apply for a new passport.
Visa renewals or change of status
To extend your stay in a country beyond the period permitted by the visa you currently hold, or to change the status of your visa (for example, from a tourist visa to a work visa), contact your nearest government and consular officials. They will refer you to the proper authorities in that country.