I am a Canadian citizen, born there in 1958. I left Canada in 2005 to live in NZ with NZ born wife. I am now a citizen of NZ and have a valid NZ passport. I have had my Canadian passport revoked for non-payment of child support. I wish to return to Canada to see family and understand that I need a valid Canadian passport to do this. I applied for the Canadian passport and have had the renewal declined due to the child support issue. From the thread above, it looks like I am not able to apply for an ETA as a Canadian citizen. I have not broken any laws, I have no criminal convictions, I have no outstanding arrest warrant, I was just unable to continue to pay child support once I left Canada. Do I have any way of getting back to visit family and return to NZ?
And yes, thanks for the comments. I should have clarified. I have tried over the years to resolve the child support issue. I have been paying child support, but not at the level that was required due to the Canadian system basing the amount payable on what I was earning in Canada. I was earning a lot less in NZ but couldn't get the amount changed unless I travelled to Canada - catch 22.

  • 3
    "Do I have any way of getting back to visit family and return to NZ?" It seems like the most straightforward way to do that is going to be to get caught up in your child support payments.
    – phoog
    Nov 20, 2019 at 0:12
  • 3
    I'm pretty sure that "not paying child support" is actually breaking the law. And the easy solution is probably to pay what you owe.
    – jcaron
    Nov 20, 2019 at 0:14
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    I"d worry that they'd still manage to flag you with the NZ passport.
    – mkennedy
    Nov 20, 2019 at 1:10
  • This page describes refusal of a Canadian passport, including for back child support, and the last section describes how you can try to request a limited validity travel document. Have you tried that?
    – user102008
    Nov 21, 2019 at 8:44
  • Maybe you can try asking the Canadian consulate whether they can issue you a travel document limited to return to Canada, since Canadian citizens have a right to return to Canada.
    – user102008
    Nov 21, 2019 at 8:45

2 Answers 2


According to the current requirements, you will need a Canadian passport to fly into Canada. So, you can still work around the requirements and fly into the US (like Seattle, Chicago, Buffalo, whatever works for you) and drive to Canada. There is not a requirement to use your Canadian passport when driving across the border, you can use your NZ passport for that.


You will not be able to fly back directly to Canada. This Govt of Canada page addresses the issue:

Why you must travel with a valid Canadian passport

Starting November 10, 2016, a new Government of Canada electronic system will verify that all passengers have an appropriate travel document before they can board a flight to Canada. This process will happen automatically when your travel document is scanned during check-in for your flight.

This change is part of a broader Government of Canada initiative aimed at ensuring that all Canada-bound passengers have appropriate travel documents to enter the country before they board their flight.

For Canadian citizens, including dual Canadian citizens, you must present an acceptable travel document that shows that you are a Canadian. This means you need a valid Canadian passport (or a Canadian temporary passport, or a Canadian emergency travel document) to allow airline check-in staff and border officials to confirm that you are Canadian.

A valid Canadian passport is the only reliable and universally accepted travel document that provides proof that you are a citizen and have the right to enter Canada without being subjected to immigration screening. Make sure that the expiry date of the passport is well beyond your planned return date.

Thus, it appears that you won't be able to board a Canada-bound airplane unless you proffer one of the documents shown in the third paragraph.

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