Canadians applying for a new passport will get a stylish new document to flash at customs checkpoints worldwide. The Canadian government unveiled earlier today a redesigned passport that integrates a number of new security elements to combat forgeries.
Noticeable changes to the front cover show the Emblem of Canada shifted to the bottom-left, in front of a partial maple leaf, with “CANADA” and “PASSPORT/PASSEPORT” written in a gold sans-serif font in the top-right corner; red maple leaves adorn the back cover.
Inside, the data page is made of polycarbonate, the same material drivers licenses are printed on, and features laser engraved personal details and a colour-changing kinegram. Other security enhancements include colour-changing ink, ultraviolet-sensitive printing and, as the books are RFID-equipped, a visible computer chip and antenna. The statement on the inside cover is updated to reference King Charles III as Canada’s head of state. The visa pages now display artwork of the seasons; children swimming in a lake, a family of bears wandering the woods, a pumpkin harvest, and an owl watching kids build a snowman.
These changes are not without controversy. Previously, visa pages showcased scenes of Canada, with images of Terry Fox, Nellie McClung, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, and the Last Spike. Brad West, mayor of Terry Fox’s home town Port Coquitlam, took to Twitter to voice his disappointment over the removal of the beloved Canadian hero whose Marathon of Hope continues to inspire those of all ages.
Following the chaos last year with the relaxation of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is preparing to provide service online to facilitate the renewal of passports. Holders of valid passports can submit their renewal, upload photographs and pay their fees without needing to visit a Service Canada branch or mail in their documents.
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, as of April 2023, the Canadian passport grants holders visa-free access or visa on arrival to over 170 countries.
The new passport is expected to begin rolling out later this summer; existing passports remain valid up until their expiration date.
Source: Government of Canada
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