New guarantor policy now in effect



    GATINEAU, QC, Oct. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Maxime Bernier,
Minister of Foreign Affairs today announced a new guarantor policy for
Canadian Passports. The new policy allows most Canadian adult passport holders
residing in Canada or the U.S. to act as guarantors for passport applications.
Today's announcement is the next step in the continued efforts by Canada's New
Government to improve passport services.
    "Canada's New Government is taking positive action to improve passport
services for Canadians. And unlike the previous government, we are delivering
results. In only a few months, we have increased Passport Canada's capacity by
40%, we have launched the simplified passport renewal process and we are
announcing today the new guarantor policy," said the Honourable Maxime
Bernier, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
    Under the new Passport Canada policy effective today, an eligible
guarantor must:

    
    - Be a Canadian citizen 18 years of age or older;
    - Hold a five-year Canadian passport that is valid or has been expired
      for no more than one year;
    - Have been 16 years of age or older when they applied for his or her own
      passport; and
    - Have known the applicant personally for at least two years.
    

    Demand for Canadian passports has more than doubled over less than a
decade. In 1999-2000, Passport Canada issued 1.7 million passports. In
2006-2007, it issued 3.6 million passports and this fiscal year, the figure is
expected to reach more than four million.
    Now, any family member as well as any individual residing at the
applicant's address may act as guarantor, provided he or she meets the
requirements noted above. To simplify the verification of guarantor
eligibility, Passport Canada will use its own database, thereby increasing the
security and efficiency of the process.
    Applicants are encouraged to visit www.passportcanada.gc.ca for further
details on the new policy.
    For more information on travel documentation required for travel to the
United States and upcoming changes due to the U.S. Western Hemispheric Travel
Initiative, please visit: http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/agency/whti-ivho/menu-e.html.




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