I became a citizen a month ago and applied for my Canadian passport two weeks after the oath of citizenship ceremony.
I’ll be sharing that process in this article plus how I was able to get into a center to submit my passport application a week after my ceremony.
If you’re wondering about my permanent residence journey, you can check out Canadian Federal Self-Employed Entry Process – My Story.
And the process of applying for Canadian citizenship is documented over at Canadian Citizenship Application Process.
What You Need to Apply for a Canadian Passport?
To apply for a Canadian passport, you will require the following as of 2023:-
- Completed application form
- Citizenship certificate – original copy (will be returned to you)
- Govt issued ID (driver’s license, health card, etc)
- 1 guarantor – I used a close family friend but you can use anyone who has known you for the last few years really including colleagues and neighbours. If you don’t have a guarantor, then you can use the Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor form, which sounds like a total hassle.
- 2 references – anyone who knows you, isn’t a relative and doesn’t have to be someone who lives in Canada.
- 2 passport pictures – most professional photographers have the specs for passport application pictures.
- Application fees – I applied for 10 years but you can apply for 5 years. It’s cheaper.
You can submit the application for a Canadian passport by mail or in person but after lots of research, I discovered the mail-in option took a long time to process and I wanted my passport ASAP.
I already had my application form filled out, pictures taken, etc before the citizenship ceremony.
As soon as I received a notice to appear for an interview, I knew the oath ceremony wasn’t far off.
I’d heard about how impossible it was to get a time slot for in-person submission so I estimated that the interview to oath would take about 2 – 3 months.
Based on that, I went and locked in an appointment at the closest Service Canada 3 months ahead of time.
Coincidentally, my oath ceremony was scheduled for the week before the appointment I’d locked in earlier so I just went in to submit my passport application the next week.
When you become a Canadian citizen, you will also receive 1 year of free access to museums and attractions across Canada via the Canoo app.
Submitting In-Person Passport Applications in Canada
My time slot was for the afternoon and when I arrived, there were only a few people in line. I checked in and took a seat.
Twenty minutes later, an official called me up to her cubicle, checked my documents, and entered all the information.
I paid for a 10-year passport and she provided a receipt plus application tracking details. She also told me the process would take up to five weeks and I would receive my passport by the first week of December.
I was in and out of Service Canada in less than an hour which was pleasantly surprising. I’d expected to be there for hours and be very annoyed by the end. Lol.
A few days later, I checked the passport application status and was notified the application was under process.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Canadian Passport After Citizenship Ceremony?
The officer at Service Canada mentioned my passport application would take five weeks.
However, when I checked randomly three weeks later, the process had been completed which was fantastic news for me.
My passport was sent via Canada Post and a tracking number was provided. A few days later, my Canadian passport arrived! 100% Nigerian-Canadian now (technically that was when I took the oath. Lol)!
I’m also pretty chuffed I received the new passport design. A lot of people don’t seem to like it but I love it!
If you need the passport urgently (within 2 – 9 business days), you will need to provide some additional documents like plane ticket.
I expected the passport application process to be a nightmare that would take forever based on previous experiences with IRCC but service delivery has improved significantly in the last few months.
Apply for your citizenship as soon as you have the qualifying residency because the rules can change anytime and might put a wrench in your plans.
Even if you don’t have an immediate need for a passport, you should apply for Canadian citizenship once you qualify.
Abi has lived and worked abroad for over 13 years. She loves traveling, reading, and writing. She is a big believer in following your dreams and has been marching to the beat of her unconventional drums for a long time. She funds her adventures by making smart financial decisions and investing wisely. Her top personal finance tools include trading with Questrade, investing change on MOKA, and no-fee banking with Tangerine and Neo Financial. Learn more about Abi HERE.
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