Canadian Passport Renewal in Hong Kong

FYI: This is an FYI posting about Canadian passports and the hassles that come along with them.

So, the situation is that it’s 2009 right, and my passport doesn’t officially expire until August 11th of this year. I thought that would have left me a good enough block of time to renew it the next time I went home, but nuh-uh.

It turns out that most Asian countries require a six month validity on all Canadian passports (sounds familiar, I know) and without this, you’re not able to get past immigration officers of the receiving country. I get this rule and all, but what I don’t really understand is why is it six whole months before the passport even expires? Why not just make the passport valid for 4 years 6 months then? I mean, what are the last 6 months for anyway if you can’t even go anywhere with them??

Yes, I’m pretty annoyed, because not only is my passport still valid, I’m also out of empty pages, meaning that I cant even get a China visa to go to Shenzhen for a day. That’s another thing I don’t get! Why is the China visa take up an entire page? It’s not like it’s a nice sticker, it’s just a bland, grey, giant, space-wasting rectangle!!

So, the situation in 2009 is, Canadians are NOT allowed to a) add pages or b) extend the validity of their passports, so the only option is to apply for a new one. Of course, this means proving your citizenship via your birth certificate (again), getting a HK-based guarantor (doctor/lawyer/etc.) to verify your identity, and waiting at least 15 business days for your new passport to be processed.

Oh yea, by the way, there is something called the Simplified Passport Renewal Process, where you don’t have to prove you’re Canadian every 5 years or bother someone to be your guarantor, but the catch is you’ve gotta be living in Canada/US (ie. It’s not for us who live abroad)…

Great, huh??

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