TORONTO: Canada launched a new 10-year passport on Tuesday with many advanced security features and iconic images of the country’s history and culture.
Until now, Canadians could get only five-year passports.
The new passport will cost $160, as against $120 that Canadians have been paying for the five-year passport.
To be called ePassport, this new travel document contains technologically-advanced features, including an embedded electronic chip, to prevent fraud.
The chip stores the same personal information as that which is recorded on the second page of the passport (except for the signature) as well as a photo and a digital security feature that proves that the passport was issued by the Government of Canada.
Once the personal information is stored on the chip, it cannot be modified without invalidating the passport. This feature assumes significance as over 55,000 Canadian passports are lost or stolen each year.
Over 100 countries already issue similar ePassports that the Canadians are entitled to now.
“The new, 10-year ePassport provides more convenience for Canadians, and facilitates safe, secure travel which, in turn, helps create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians,’’ citizenship and immigration minister Jason Kenney said on Tuesday.
The new 36-page ePassport features iconic images that celebrate Canadian history and culture, such as: Robert Harris’s painting of the Fathers of Confederation; a depiction of the last spike completing the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885; and a picture of Pier 21 in Halifax – one of the most significant ports of entry for newly-arrived immigrants between 1928 and 1971, and now a National Historic Site.
Interestingly, effective from July 2, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) assumes primary responsibility for Passport Canada. Till now, passports have been the responsibility of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.