I would like to remind all constituents that the new ePassport will be available on July 1, 2013.
For those who are looking to renew their passport this year or apply for the first time, starting on July 1, 2013, the new Canadian electronic passport will be available for adult applicants with an option for a 5 or 10 year ePassport, while children’s ePassports will be issued for a maximum of 5 years.
The Canadian ePassport will have an electronic chip embedded in the back cover of the book. The chip adds an extra layer of security to the passport and makes it more tamper-proof. The chip will store the same personal information that is detailed on page 2 of the passport, the photo and a country-specific digital security feature that proves the passport was issued by the Government of Canada.
When information is first stored on the chip in the Canadian epassport, the chip is electronically locked. This means that even if someone were to attempt to tamper with the data on the chip, the chip would indicate that the lock had been broken and the fraud would be detected.
ePassports are currently in use in some 95 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and France, and all have reported no chip failures.
In Canada, we have conducted a pilot project since January 2009 by issuing more than 50,000 diplomatic and special epassports, and no problems have been reported. In the unlikely event that the chip cannot be read, the passport will still be valid.
Once the Canadian ePassport has been fully implemented in July, everyone will be allowed to submit a new application if you wish to replace your non-electronic passport with an ePassport.
The only prerequisite is you will be required to pay the full fee and the unused validity period on your old passport will not be transferred to your new passport.