US Citizens living in Canada are the only Americans abroad who can renew their US passport by mail. The requirements to renew your US passport by mail are:
You have to be 18 years old, submit your original most recently issued US passport with the application, and cannot request any changes to your biographical information on the passport except a name change. Your passport also must not be expired more than 5 years, and must have been issued within the last 15 years.
If you don’t meet all of these requirements, you have to renew your US passport at the nearest US consulate. Children under 18 always have to appear at the US consulate for renewal of their US passport. Please see below for further information on renewing a child’s US passport.
Renewing your US passport from Canada by Mail
US citizens living in Canada are the only US foreign residents who are allowed to renew their US passport by mail. If you meet ALL of these requirements, you are eligible to renew your US passport from Canada without going in person to a US consulate:
- You are at least 18 years old
- Your most recent US passport was issued when you were at least 16 years old
- Your most recent US passport has been expired less than 5 years
- Your most recent US passport was issued within the past 15 years
- Your most recent US passport was issued for the full period of validity (either 5 or 10 years) and was not limited in any way
- You can submit your original most recent US passport with the application
- You are not requesting any change to the data on your passport, other than a name change supported by an original document such as a marriage certificate or legal name change certificate
All of these conditions must be met in order for you to renew your US passport by mail from Canada. If you do not meet one or more of these requirements, you will have to appear in person at a US consulate in order to renew your American passport.
US Passport Application Process
When you renew your US passport with Immigroup, we help you from start to finish with the application process. Here are the steps:
- You complete the application forms.
- We check your forms and documents to make sure you have completed them correctly.
- You mail your forms and old passport to us.
- We review everything to make sure there are no problems that will delay your application and submit everything to the US government.
- You receive your new US passport and old cancelled passport by mail.
These are the steps for renewing a US passport by mail from within Canada. If you need to appear in person at a US consulate, we will book your appointment for you and give you a detailed list of what to bring to your appointment.
Renew your passport at the US Consulate in Canada
If you don’t meet all of the requirements to renew your US passport by mail, you will have to appear at a US consulate in person to renew your American passport. You will also have to pay an additional fee of $25 and complete a different form.
Any of these circumstances means you have to submit your application for a US passport at the consulate – if you submit your application by mail it will be returned.
- You are applying for your first US passport
- Your previous US passport was issued when you were under 16 years old
- Your previous US passport was stolen, lost, or damaged
- Your previous US passport was issued longer than 15 years ago
- Your name has changed since your last US passport was issued, and you do not have documentation to support the change such as a marriage certificate
Here are the steps when you submit an application for a US passport at your US consulate:
- Fill out form DS-11, Application for a US Passport. DO NOT SIGN THE FORM.
- Schedule an appointment at the nearest US consulate to meet with a passport officer.
- At your appointment, present your completed application form DS-11, your evidence of US citizenship, your photo ID, photocopies of the documents you are submitting, one US passport photo, and the fee.
- When the officer has reviewed your documents, he or she will advise you to sign the application form.
- You will receive your new US passport in the mail.
What documents do you need to renew your US passport from Canada?
The supporting documents you need to renew your American passport from within Canada depend on whether you are renewing by mail or in person at the US consulate.
|By Mail||At US Consulate|
What documents are acceptable proof of US citizenship to get a US passport?
All US passport applicants must demonstrate that they are American citizens and thus eligible to hold a US passport. But, only certain documents are acceptable proof of US citizenship. The following items can all prove that you are a US citizen:
- previously issued US passport that is undamaged and valid for the full length of time (10 years for adults and 5 years for children)
- original long-form US birth certificate issued by the state of the applicant’s birth and showing parents’ names
- original Report of Birth Abroad issued by a US consulate
- original Certificate of Naturalization
- original Certificate of Citizenship
What photo IDs are acceptable to get a US passport?
When you apply for a US passport in person at the US consulate, you have to submit an original photo ID to the passport officer as proof of your identity. Any of these documents is acceptable:
- previously issued undamaged US passport
- Certificate of Naturalization
- valid driver’s license
- valid government ID
- valid military ID
Getting your first US passport in Canada
When you apply for your first American passport in Canada, you have to go in person to the US consulate to file the application. The application forms, supporting documents, and procedure are the same for all adults and children applying for their passport at the US consulate.
Applying for a child’s US passport in Canada
All applications for a minor’s US passport in Canada must be submitted in person at the nearest US consulate. In addition to the requirements for an adult passport application, there are several additional things that have to be provided for the application to be processed.
- Evidence that you are the applicant’s parent (only the applicant’s parent or legal guardian can apply for the child’s passport)
- US or foreign issued long form birth certificates can be used as evidence of the parental relationship.
- An Adoption, divorce, or custody decree may also be used, as well as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a US Citizen (form FS-240)
- If the child has his or her own photo ID, the original must be presented at the US consulate. If the child does not have a photo ID, a parent must show their own identification document and submit a photocopy with the application.
- A current, undamaged passport issued in the last 15 years or a driver’s license may be used.
- Parental consent: Children 15 years old or younger cannot apply for a US passport on their own; they must demonstrate that their parents are aware of and consent to the application.
Both parents have to appear in person at the US consulate to make the application and provide consent for a US passport to be issued to the minor. If one of the parents cannot appear in person, a signed and notarized form DS-3503 Statement of Consent form completed by the absent parent within the last 3 months must be provided at the time the application is made.
If the applicant only has one parent or guardian, evidence of this must be submitted in the form of:
- a US or foreign-issued long form birth certificate listing the applicant’s parent, OR
- a court order granting sole custody or permission to travel with the child to the applying parent, OR
- a court declaration of incompetence of the non-applying parent, OR
- the death certificate of the non-applying parent.
If the applicant has two parents or guardians, but one cannot be located to appear at the US consulate for the passport application, a form DS-5525 Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances must be presented by the applying parent. This form has to describe the efforts made to locate the other custodial parent, and any supporting documents should be provided such as an incarceration order or restraining order.
Changing the information on your US passport
- Correcting Errors on your US passport
Printing errors, typos, and incorrect information on your US passport can be corrected for free at any time while the passport is still valid. If you submit the passport for correction within one year of the date of issue, the new passport will be valid for a full 10 years. If you submit the passport for correction later than one year after it has been issued, the new passport will be valid until the expiration date of the old passport.
To correct an error, send a completed form DS-5504 as well as one color US passport photo and evidence of the error such as a photocopy of your birth certificate.
- Changing your name on your US passport
If your name has changed because of a marriage, divorce, legal name change, you have to apply for a new passport. If your name has changed within one year of the issuing date of your passport, there will be no charge. If the change has occurred more than one year after the issuance of the passport, you will have to pay the standard US passport fee.
US Passport Photo Requirements
US passport applications have to include one photo of the applicant which must meet these requirements:
- In color
- Printed on photo paper – matte or glossy
- photo size: 2×2 inches (51x51mm)
- size of the head within the photo: between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (25 – 35mm) from the chin to the top of the forehead
- taken within the last 6 months
- taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
- taken facing the camera directly
- neutral expression (no smiling) and both eyes open