My dad was born in Canada and has been a permanent resident of the US for about 50 years (not a US citizen -- he's lazy). I don't think he has returned to Canada once since he started living in the US.

He is planning a trip to Canada and we are wondering if he needs a passport or if his Green Card is sufficient to exit/enter the US.

If he does need a passport, how can he obtain a passport while living outside the country? If it's a requirement that he be physically present in the country to apply for and obtain a passport, that will likely preclude the possibility of him going altogether?


1 Answer 1


According to this page from the Canadian government showing a green card is sufficient for an U.S. permanent resident to enter Canada at the land border. But for traveling by air a passport is required.

Usually, people living outside their country of citizenship can get passport issued by consular posts of their country of citizenships. However Canadian consulates in the US do not provide passport services. Instead it appears he can apply for a new passport from the US by mail -- see previous link.

  • It is worth adding that if a Canadian citizen traveling by air to Canada, they must fly with a Canadian passport. They can not use a passport issued by any other country. Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 21:40
  • The process for applying for a Canadian passport by mail is a bit arcane (though it's better than it used to be); in particular, one has to find a "guarantor" and two "references", each of which has a laundry-list of requirements. If you do need guidance on this, it might be worth posting a separate question on our sister site expats.stackexchange.com. Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 22:10
  • 3
    @JacobHorbulyk that is incorrect. A dual citizen of the US and Canada can fly to Canada with a US passport. This is possible because US citizens do not require eTA authorization. But anyway this is not relevant to the present question because the traveler is not a dual citizen of the US or any other country. The only passport he could fly with is a Canadian passport because the only country he's a citizen of is Canada.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 22:19
  • 1
    Worth to add: if OP has a NEXUS Card, that's OK on ist own by air too
    – Crazydre
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 8:29

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