Got Canada permanent residency (PR)? How to strengthen your passport now

A passport’s strength significantly influences one’s travel opportunities, allowing visa-free entry to various countries. However, obtaining a passport requires residency, prompting some to seek passports from countries with higher global access.

This year the distinction of most recognised passport went to the Singaporean passport (granting access to 193 countries), with Japan trailing closely behind (granting access to 192 countries). Other countries that have very strong passports include the United States, Poland, Greece, Czechia and Canada.

So if you are planning to enhance your passport strength to get advantageous global recognition, experts suggest that the smartest way to do it is by acquiring a Canadian passport.

Why Canada?

Henley & Partners—a global immigration consultancy firm—has ranked the Canadian passport as the 7th most recognised in the world. And with a Canadian passport, you will be able to travel around 183 countries visa-free. 

Experts point out that in comparison to countries that have a strong passport tag, like Singapore, Japan, and the US, it is easiest to get citizenship in Canada.  

Also, you do not need to give up your current passport if you apply for a Canadian one. Canada permits dual citizenship, and hence having multiple passports (if one’s home nation also has a dual citizenship policy) is also possible. 

How to get a Canadian Passport?

  • To get a Canadian passport, you need to become a citizen first.  
  • For that, you must first be a permanent resident of Canada and comply with the country’s physical presence rules. That is, you need to demonstrate that you have lived in Canada for at least three of the past five years.
  • If applicable, you must also file your taxes. 
  • Passing a Canadian citizenship test is crucial, assessing knowledge of history, values, institutions, symbols, and citizenship rights and responsibilities.
  • Even if your permanent resident status was procured differently, these conditions must be met. Overall, a minimum of three years is generally required to secure Canadian citizenship, if pursuing a naturalisation route.

Once you have completed your citizenship formalities and received your citizenship certificate, you can apply for a passport. Every citizen of Canada is eligible to apply for this document, and it is uncommon to be found ineligible. 

However, if you are found ineligible your citizenship may be revoked due to misrepresentation on your application or if there are concerns about security, violations of human or international rights, or connections to organised crime, associated with your application.

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Updated: 14 Nov 2023, 08:33 AM IST

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