New Canadian passports may be "more convenient" and will not include fingerprints

The new Canadian electronic passport will be valid for 10 years but according to the Canadian government, Canadians are unaware of what the new passports will include and what they won’t include. Last week, the government provided some more information on the new e-passports to clear things up.

Passport Canada recently released the results of a survey, and in the report the organization said, “Generally, Canadians are not aware of the project by the government of Canada to adopt the new passport, nor do they know exactly what the passport consists of.”

The new passport will be similar to the current passport, only containing a photograph. Ideas like fingerprints, iris scans and other biometric data were suggested, but will not be a part of Canada’s new passport. The most significant improvement is that adult Canadians will have the choice between a five-year passport or a 10-year passport, and children will be able to obtain five-year passports. The e-passport also has a microchip that contains information on the passport holder’s identity.

Similar validity periods are included in passports for other countries like France, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. According to a spokesperson for Passport Canada, the passports are meant to be more convenient for Canadians.

Using fingerprints and iris scans would violate standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, but the Canadian Civil Liberties Union has stated that the microchip in the passport could leave Canadians at risk of identity theft as well as surveillance by unauthorized parties.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: biometric canadian passport blog finger prints new canadian passports new passports United States passport fingerprints

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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