Passport Canada

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Passport Canada (previously known as the Passport Office) is an independent operating agency of the Government of Canada with bureaucratic oversight provided through the Citizenship and Immigration Canada portfolio.[1]

Passport Canada is responsible for issuing, revoking, withholding, and recovering Canadian passports, and it is the sole issuer of them (except for emergency and temporary passports that may be issued by a Canadian mission abroad).[2] It operates under the auspices of the Canadian Passport Order which defines the agency.

Due to the agency's status as a Special Operating Agency, Passport Canada is financed through the fees collected for issuing passports and other travel documents. It does not receive direct funding from the federal government.

Canadian Passport Order[edit]

The Canadian Passport Order was passed in 1981, and has been amended several times. It is made under the authority of the Royal Prerogative.[3]

The Order establishes who is eligible for a Canadian passport, as well as the procedure and application process for obtaining one. The Order also establishes Passport Canada. Under the Canadian Passport Regulations that were previously in force, residents of Canada could obtain a passport by completing an application and sending it in by mail to the Department of External Affairs, without having to prove their Canadian citizenship.[4]

Under the Canadian Passport Order, Passport Canada may revoke or refuse to issue a passport on grounds specified in the Order. A passport may not be refused or revoked on grounds not specified in the Order (see Rights to a passport).

Auditor General's Report[edit]

In April 2005, the Auditor General of Canada Sheila Fraser gave a scathing report on Passport Canada, claiming that employees of the agency lack proper security clearance.[5] Prior to the Auditor General's report, Passport Canada had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Corrections Canada to obtain a full list of inmates' names, as they are ineligible for a passport.

Follow-up reports were issued in 2007 - which noted continuing control issues -[6] and 2009 - where satisfactory progress was observed, especially in light of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative introduced by the United States.[7]

References[edit]

See also[edit]

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