The Canadian Passport and Its Perks
The Canadian passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world. As of 2023, it allows its bearer to travel visa-free to over 180 countries.
While Canadian citizenship has many benefits, I consider having a Canadian passport one of its greatest bonuses. The convenience and ease of travel is especially important for people who have family and friends all over the world.
Let’s talk about three of the advantages of having a Canadian Passport.
Savings on visa application costs
Visa applications are never free. In fact, it is expensive.
My brother and I visited the UK at the same time. While I didn’t spend a single pound on visa processing, he had to pay £115 for a standard visitor visa to the UK from the Philippines. Expenses related to obtaining and submitting documents also added quite a huge amount his spending.
Click this link to watch my vlog featuring a hassle-free trip from Vancouver to London Heathrow Airport.
Waived documents, biometrics information, and interview
The list of requirements for visa applications is long. This list includes various documents, biometric information, and even an interview.
For visitor visa application to the UK, requirements include:
- documents that demonstrate employment or student status
- previous travel documents or passports
- proof of access to sufficient funds such as bank statements or certificate of employment
It took my brother around a month just to gather the necessary documents.
On the day of his appointment at the UK Visa Application Centre, he submitted the required documents and his biometrics. He also had to go through an interview.
In the Philippines, there are only two UK Visa Application Centres. Applicants need to travel to one of these locations to complete the process.
These would be difficult for applicants who are working full-time.
Ease of Entry Across Borders
When I first visited the UK, I prepared answers to potential questions from border officers way before I landed. However, they hardly asked any questions. On my last visit, I noticed that citizens of some countries were allowed to use e-gates where they were only required to scan their passports on the machines and have their photo taken. Canadian passport holders were given the privilege of going through the e-gates.
For other nationalities, they had to go through a short interview and passport stamping by immigration officers. My brother said he was asked basic questions such as travel dates and accommodations. I guess this was to verify the information given during his visa interview. This process was slower, as expected.
Over a decade ago, my friends and I traveled from Manila, Philippines to Bangkok, Thailand for a few days. We all had Philippine passports. Even for a country that did not require a visa, an immigration officer in Manila had to confirm the purpose of our visit to Thailand and other information.
Having a Canadian visit takes away the extra scrutiny at borders.
In this day and age, travel is a necessity for some people, especially immigrants. The freedom of travel and the convenience from owning a Canadian passport is a huge bonus of Canadian citizenship.
What are your thoughts on having a Canadian passport? Please let us know in the comments section.