Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced that Canada’s new ePassport will be full of iconic images that will make Canadian passports more attractive and more secure.
“The new ePassport will be more reflective and representative of who we are as Canadians,” said Baird during an event at the newly renamed Canadian Museum of History. “These images showcase Canada’s history and the building of our great nation while adding essential new security features for the 21st Century.”
The new images will also serve to keep the Canadian passport one of the world’s most secure travel documents. The complexity of the images is – first and foremost – a security feature that makes the passport more difficult to counterfeit.
Canadians will be able to renew their passports for five years for $120 or 10 years for $160, Passport Canada has said. Current passports are renewable every five years. Children will still be eligible only for a five-year passport.
Fees for adult passports now range from $82 to $97.
For those applying outside of Canada, the fee skyrockets to $190 for a five-year passport — up from $97 — and $260 for the document that would expire in 10 years, The Canadian Press reported.
By comparison, it currently costs $135 to apply for a new passport in the United States, $25 less for a renewal. An adult passport in the United Kingdom costs the equivalent of about $117.
The first 5-year ePassports will be issued in select locations during the first quarter of 2013. Production will ramp up through the spring resulting in the full availability of both a 5- and 10- year ePassport in early summer.