If you’re applying for a new passport or renewing an old passport, your application will typically be processed in about a month (sometimes sooner). What if you don’t have a month to wait, though?
If you need to renew or obtain a passport on short notice, though, then you can pay extra to apply for an urgent passport in Canada. Urgent passport services are available at participating passport offices and may allow you to get your passport as soon as the next day.
Below, I’ll go over the various urgent passport options in Canada, how much they cost, where to apply, and outline everything you need to bring to your passport appointment to get approved.
A passport is your ticket to being able to travel outside of the country. For Canadians, it’s also required for all air travel within Canada. Given its importance, most Canadians keep their passport stored somewhere safe, where it won’t get damaged, become lost, or get stolen.
Accidents and unexpected circumstances occur from time to time, though…
- Your passport may have expired without you realizing it
- Your passport may have been lost in a move
- You may be in another country and have had your passport stolen
- You don’t have a passport and suddenly need to travel for an emergency
In these cases, you may need to apply for an urgent passport in Canada.
An urgent passport is the same as a traditional passport. The only difference is the time that it takes for you to get it. When you apply for an urgent passport through Service Canada, the application and approval process are expedited, and you can receive your passport as soon as the next business day.
Of course, if you apply for an urgent passport, you will be charged an additional fee. Urgent passport services can cost anywhere between $20 and $355 extra compared to the standard passport application process. The more urgently you need your passport, the more you can expect to pay.
If you’re facing an emergency situation, though, or urgently need a passport before an upcoming flight, then the urgent passport service can be an absolute lifesaver.
For example, I once lost my passport and needed to obtain an urgent passport before I boarded a flight overseas.
If I didn’t have my passport ready for my flight, I would’ve had to forfeit my $1,500 non-refundable tickets. I don’t know about you, but spending $355 to prevent a $1,500 loss doesn’t sound like such a bad trade-off.
The best choice, of course, is to properly plan and get your Canadian passport long before any upcoming travel dates. This takes a bit longer but is more affordable and will leave you less stressed. Still, I appreciate that Service Canada offers the urgent option.
Before you pay extra for an urgent passport in Canada, you may want to consider the amount of time that it will take to get a passport the traditional way. Service Canada is fairly quick when it comes to passports, and you may not really need to pay extra for an urgent passport.
On average, Service Canada takes between 10 and 20 days to process your passport application. After this, your passport may take between 5 and 10 business days to arrive in the mail.
The first time that I applied for my Canadian passport, my application was approved within two weeks and took another five days to arrive in the mail. All in all, I had it in less than three weeks.
If you have three to four weeks to wait, then getting your passport the traditional way is the better option financially. If you’re working with a smaller time frame, though, you may want to plan to pay extra for an urgent passport in Canada.
The cost of obtaining your Canadian passport without expedited service depends on the length of the passport (five or ten years) and the age of the applicant. Here are the Canadian passport fees listed on Service Canada’s website:
|Type of Passport||Cost of Passport|
|5-year passport (ages 16+)||$120|
|10-year passport (ages 16+)||$160|
|Child passport (0-15 years old)||$57|
If you have the extra $40, I definitely recommend that you get the 10-year passport over the 5-year passport. The extra five years of validity is well worth the additional fee and will save you lots of time having to renew your passport in the future.
Also, with a 5-year passport, consider that the passport application fees could increase by the next time that you renew so that a 10-year passport will save you money in the long term.
Now that you’ve had a chance to see the cost of getting a typical passport in Canada, let’s compare it to the cost of getting an urgent passport:
|Urgent Service||Urgent Passport Surcharge||10-Year Passport Cost||Total Cost|
|Urgent pickup (end of next business day)||$110||$160||$270|
|Express pickup (2 to 9 business days)||$50||$160||$210|
|Standard pickup (10 business days)||$20||$160||$180|
|Weekend or holiday service||$355||$160||$515|
Keep in mind that the fee for an urgent passport is charged in addition to the regular passport fees charged by Service Canada.
If you’re requesting urgent passport services for a child’s passport (between ages 0 and 15), here’s how the fee schedule would look:
|Urgent Service||Urgent Passport Surcharge||Child’s Passport (0-15 years old)||Total Cost|
|Urgent pickup (end of next business day)||$110||$57||$167|
|Express pickup (2 to 9 business days)||$50||$57||$107|
|Standard pickup (10 business days)||$20||$57||$77|
|Weekend or holiday service||$355||$57||$412|
Thankfully, parents don’t have to pay as much for their children’s urgent passports as they would for their own. However, it’s still a hefty fee that’s better avoided.
Losing your wallet is one thing, but losing your passport is just as stressful (if not more so). Similar to your SIN card, your passport is an important identifying document. In the wrong hands, it could be used to steal your identity or disguise another individual’s identity.
Given the risks, Service Canada invalidates your old passport the moment the new one is issued to you. This ensures that it can’t be used for nefarious purposes.
If you’re replacing a lost or stolen passport in Canada, you’ll need to pay an additional $45 fee to Service Canada, which will cover the cost of deactivating your lost passport.
If you’re applying for an urgent passport after your previous passport was lost or stolen, here’s how much you could expect to pay:
|Urgent Service||Urgent Passport Surcharge||10-Year Passport Cost||Lost/Stolen Passport Fee||Total Cost|
|Urgent pickup (end of next business day)||$110||$160||$45||$315|
|Express pickup (2 to 9 business days)||$50||$160||$45||$255|
|Standard pickup (10 business days)||$20||$160||$45||$225|
|Weekend or holiday service||$355||$160||$45||$560|
After looking over the data, the most that an urgent Canadian passport could cost you is $560, assuming that you’re applying for a lost 10-year passport and need urgent weekend or holiday service.
If you want to apply for an urgent or expedited passport in Canada, you’ll need to apply directly through a Service Canada passport office. You must also be willing to pick the passport up in person from the office you applied at.
It’s also worth noting that you must provide travel documents in order to receive urgent passport services.
To prevent their system from becoming backed up with urgent requests from individuals who simply want their passports shipped quicker (without an actual need), Service Canada only provides these expedited pick-up services to individuals who need them.
To apply for an urgent passport, you’ll need to show the passport agent your dated plane tickets to prove that you may not receive your passport in the mail by the day your flight departs.
Now that you’ve had a chance to compare the cost of the various urgent passport services in Canada, let’s take a few minutes to go over each urgent service and what you can expect.
Applying for an urgent passport in Canada will incur a $110 fee, paid in addition to your passport application. However, it’s one of the fastest options, as it will allow you to get your passport by the next business day. So, if you apply on a Monday, you could get it on Tuesday.
Note urgent passport service is only available to individuals who can pick up the passport in person from a passport office in Canada. None of the urgent passport services mentioned below can be applied to mailed passports or to passports applied for out of the country.
If you don’t need your passport as soon as the next business day and have a bit more time to wait, then applying for express pickup service will save you some money.
Express pickup service costs $50 and will allow you to pick up your passport at Service Canada passport office between two and ten business days. This allows you to get your passport a couple of weeks sooner than you would otherwise get it.
One of the perks of working a government job is that you’ll usually get weekends and holidays off of work. While this is great for government employees, it can really throw a wrench in the works for the people who need government services over the weekend or holidays.
That being said, some Service Canada passport locations may have one or two employees on standby for urgent weekend or holiday passport services. If so, you could receive your passport by the business day following the holiday or weekend.
Service Canada employees are typically paid far more if they agree to work or remain on standby during weekends and holidays. As such, you’ll need to pay an additional $355 fee for urgent weekend or holiday passport service in Canada.
If you don’t need urgent next-day service, then you can pay a small $20 fee for standard expedited pickup. If you pay for this service, you’ll be able to pick your passport up at your local Service Canada passport office within 10 business days of applying.
This option requires slightly more time than the urgent express option but is $30 cheaper.
As I outlined above, there are several different types of urgent passports in Canada, including:
- Urgent passport
- Urgent express passport
- Urgent weekend or holiday passport
Urgent passport services are only available at physical passport offices within Canada. Urgent services aren’t available to individuals residing outside of the country (such as expats living in Costa Rica).
However, there is also another type of expedited passport called an emergency temporary passport, which is available to those living or travelling outside of the country.
These temporary passports are designed for individuals who are outside of Canada and who’ve already applied for a non-urgent passport but need to receive their passport sooner.
If you’ve already submitted your standard passport application, have not received it, and suddenly need to get it sooner, then paying the additional $110 emergency temporary passport fee is your only choice.
This fee will be attached to the standard cost of applying for a non-urgent passport. So, if you’re applying for a $160 10-year adult passport, the cost for a temporary emergency passport would cost you an extra $110 for a total of $270.
If you’re applying for your passport through an embassy outside of Canada, you should expect to receive your passport in about 20 days. Paying for a temporary emergency passport is the only way to receive a Canadian passport outside of the country before 20 days.
To wrap up, here’s a quick checklist of everything you should bring to the Service Canada passport office to apply for an urgent passport in Canada:
- Completed Passport Application
- Identifying Documents
- Passport Picture
- Travel Documentation
- Urgent Passport Fee
Although you can complete your passport location in the Service Canada office, you can save some time by completing the form before your passport appointment. You can download the standard adult passport form from the government’s website here.
Most of the application can be completed on your computer if you have a PDF editor. This will ensure that there aren’t any typos and can speed up the application and approval process. Once you complete the form digitally, simply print it out and bring it to your passport appointment.
To receive a passport, you’ll need to prove that you are who you say you are. You’ll need to bring the following documents to your appointment to verify your identity:
- Canadian passport (old one)
- Driver’s license
- Military ID
- Foreign passport
- Provincial or territorial health card
- Certificate of Indian status card
- Federally or provincially-issued ID card (non-driver’s license)
- Employee identification (such as your SIN card or SIN number)
Service Canada only requires one of the above documents. However, it’s always a good idea to bring two forms of ID, just in case (such as your driver’s license and your health card combined).
To receive expedited or urgent services, you’ll also need to come ready with your passport pictures already printed out. Many pharmacies and local photography services offer passport photo services, which ensure that your pictures meet Service Canada’s photo requirements.
Service Canada only offers urgent pickup services to passport applicants who have travel documentation proving why they need the service. For this, you just need to bring your pre-purchased plane or boat tickets.
Lastly, you’ll need to bring the additional urgent passport fee, as I outlined above.
If you’re tight on time, have an upcoming travel date, and need to renew or apply for a new passport, urgent passport services can ensure that you get your passport on time.
However, these urgent services do come with some rather expensive fees, so I recommend preparing ahead of time and applying for your passport the traditional way.
Do you travel frequently?
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