Refusal, revocations and suspended passports

Passport refusal

Passport Canada may refuse to issue a passport or Canadian travel document to, and may revoke the passport of, a person who:

  • is not a Canadian citizen;

  • provides false information in the passport / travel document application process;

  • fails to provide Passport Canada with a duly-completed application, or with the required or requested information and material;

  • is charged in Canada with the commission of an indictable offence, or a similar offence abroad;

  • is imprisoned or otherwise forbidden to leave Canada or, being abroad, is imprisoned or otherwise forbidden to leave that country;

  • is subject to conditions imposed by a court that have the effect of preventing possession of a passport / travel document;

  • has been convicted of a passport / travel document offence under the Criminal Code or the equivalent abroad;

  • owes money to the Crown related to repatriation to Canada or other consular financial assistance; or,

  • has been issued a passport / travel document that has not expired or has been revoked.

Passport revocation

Passport Canada may revoke a passport or Canadian travel document for any of the above-mentioned reasons, as well as if someone:

  • uses the passport / travel document to assist in committing an indictable offence in Canada or a similar offence abroad;

  • permits another person to use the passport / travel document;

  • has obtained the passport / travel document by means of false or misleading information; or

  • has ceased to be a Canadian citizen.

Passport Canada recognizes that the denial of passport services is a significant sanction and therefore exercises its authority to refuse issuance of a passport only where there is sufficient reliable information available to justify the action.For more detailed information please see: Administrative decision process for the refusal or revocation of passport services.

Failure to pay child support or alimony

Under the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistant Act, failure to pay child support or alimony may be grounds for Passport Canada to refuse to issue a passport to you, or to suspend the current passport issued in your name. For more information regarding the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistant Act, please see Part III, Licence Denial.

Authority on refusal and revocation

A Passport Canada official has the final say in refusing passport services or revoking a Canadian passport or travel document. For more detailed information please see: Administrative decision process for the refusal or revocation of passport services.

Suspended passport

If the passport issued in your name is suspended under the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistant Act, you will be asked to return it to Passport Canada. If you fail to do so, the passport will be invalidated. Once a passport has been invalidated, it cannot be used for travel and cannot be reactivated.

Return of a passport (request from Passport Canada)

The Canadian passport issued in your name is the property of the Government of Canada. If you have received a letter from Passport Canada that says you must return a passport, the passport must be returned to Passport Canada by the date indicated. If you do not return the passport by the stated date, Passport Canada will invalidate it. Neither Passport Canada nor any representative of the Government of Canada can be held responsible for problems encountered by people attempting to use an invalidated passport at border crossings.

If you refuse to return the passport when asked to do so, Passport Canada will inform law enforcement partners such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and border control agencies. You may be subject to investigation and prosecution by the police for theft and illegal possession of Government of Canada property under the Criminal Code.

Request for passport services under urgent, compelling and compassionate considerations

Passport Canada will consider, in special circumstances, issuing a limited-validity travel document (LVTD) to an individual who is subject to an entitlement investigation or a period of refusal of passport services. A LVTD with geographical limitations may be issued to the applicant provided Passport Canada is satisfied that the reason for the request is urgent, compelling and compassionate. For more detailed information please see: Request for limited-validity travel document under urgent, compelling and compassionate considerations.