The new Canadian Passport: Longer duration but 16 pages smaller.
The politics of travel are often bewildering, and always incomprehensible, but the latest move by the Canadian government to change the validity and structure of their passport system is simply beyond the pale.
After years of prodding by the industry and the travelling public, Canada has now announced that they will offer passports valid for ten years, and not just the customary five. However, there is a very difficult and significant catch attached to this apparent magnanimity
Passports will only have 32 pages, with no possibility to extend, as most other countries allow, by the addition of extra pages.
Currently, there are 48 page passports available for frequent travellers, and as a result, many (of us) who regularly fill these within the five-year period will now have to get new passports every two years or so.
When questioned, an extremely disinterested passport official told me that “there was insufficient demand to warrant the cost of providing the 48 page documents”.
There is little additional cost attached to adding twelve blank pages, and in any case, if coast was an issue, charge me $500 for a bumper ten-year passport. The UK offers 98 pagers, and the ability to add additional should one’s travels so determine.
American passport-holders can add pages as can most other European and Middle Eastern nations.
Why are Canadian business travellers being so penalised by having these ridiculous toy passports as the only option? Passports adorned with multiple-entry visas that will also now need frequent renewal, should have a viable manner to extend their validity.
Come on Ottawa, think about it, and offer a passport that is suited to the many, many business travellers that are out on the road every single day.