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How to renew a Canadian passport while abroad

It finally happened…

I ran out of passport pages while abroad. Sh*t.

So, what happens now?

Well the process (albeit a slow process) wasn’t as complicated as one might think!

For your convenience I have summarized all of the key info here and attached links for everything you will need to get your new passport. If you are a Canadian citizen seeking information on how to renew your passport outside of Canada, this article is for you.

Note: If your passport has been lost or stolen while abroad, the process is different. You can apply for an emergency replacement (this will take significantly less time but the passport is only temporary). You can find out if you are eligible to renew your Canadian passport abroad here.

Can I mail my application?

Outside of Canada, you need to submit your application to renew your passport in person at a consular office which processes passports. You can find the appropriate embassy or consular nearest to you here.

In my case, there wasn’t one where I was staying in Mwanza, Tanzania so I had the choice to go to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) or Nairobi (Kenya).

What do I need to bring with me?

You will need to bring:

– Your old passport (the passport must be still valid or expired for no more than 1 year, not damaged and never reported lost or stolen)

– The passport renewal form “Adult Simplified Renewal Abroad PPT Application PPTC 482” – Complete it and bring it with you.

– Two passport images with the date and photography studio name on the back (full photo information is on the application form).

– Payment: You will need to bring with you cash or a certified traveller cheque for payment (both CAD and USD are accepted). The cost of a 5-year passport is $190 ($145 USD) and a 10-year passport is $260 ($190 USD). If you ran out of passport pages like me, you might want to consider just getting the 5 year one as you might fill it again in 5 years vs. 10.

Pro tip: If you wish to pay credit card, you will also need to print and complete this form for processing payment. Note with credit card there is a 1.50$ fee for every $50 charged. You can find payment information here.

Should I retain my old passport?

If you wish to retain your current passport throughout the duration of the renewal process, you will need to print and complete passport retention and make an additional payment of $45 CAD ($35 USD).

Pro tip: I recommend doing this if you have a tourist visa inside your old passport for the country you are applying for renewal in, or you need it for proof of identification while your renewal is processing. During my experience doing this in Nairobi, I retained my passport for proof of identity and proof that I had legally obtained a tourist visa (in the case I was asked to present it).

How long will it take?

I emailed both offices in Tanzania and Kenya, and both confirmed it would take a minimum of 20 business days. Since the offices are not open on weekends, that is one full month. In my experience, my passport renewal took 19 business days (inclusive of the days I dropped off the application and picked up the passport). The office stated online that their passport services operate Monday through Thursday so I was worried business days for passports did not include Fridays but it did.

If you retain your old passport, you can travel during this duration but note that depending on where you are in the world, you may require paying for a new visa to re-enter the country to pick up your new passport. In my case, if I left Kenya during that month, I would have to pay for a new tourist visa or transit visa just to enter and pick up my passport so I stayed put.

Can they mail it to me?

No, if you are outside of Canada you must report to the same office to pick up your passport. They will call you or email you to let you know when to pick it up.

Can I keep my old passport?

Yes, there is an option to request this on the application. Just make sure you tick the box that you would like to keep the old one! They stamped “cancelled” onto my old passport since it had not yet expired, just rand out of pages and I got to take it with me.

I hope this guide on how to renew a Canadian passport abroad was helpful to you!

If you found it useful, be sure to leave a comment for me below or give it a share.

Happy travels!

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thepinkbackpack.com said:
Oh wow, what a nightmare! I'm so glad you knew the information and could advocate for yourself.
March 1, 2019 at 6:43 am
Peter said:
Just a note that the Consulate that you use, in spite of the fact they are supposed to renew passports, may not have the foggiest idea about how to do it. The consulate in Saigon told me I had no choice but to surrender my old passport with my application for a new one. It took me a week and a dozen emails to get it sorted out. I was in Nha Trang at the time and Saigon was the closest consulate. If I had complied with her demands I would have had to sleep in the park for three weeks or hitchhike back to Nha Trang because of Vietnam's requirement to show your passport every time you travel or check-in to a hotel. Luckily I had renewed my last passport in Mexico and knew very well I could keep my old passport while the new one was being processed. Happy travels Alistair, stay safe. Peter “Not all those who wander are lost.”
February 28, 2019 at 7:22 am
thepinkbackpack.com said:
Thank you for the nice compliment Alistair! :)
February 19, 2019 at 4:29 am
Alistair Langfield said:
Interesting post! Thanks for sharing!
February 13, 2019 at 11:07 am
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