I had a consul general within the US verify my citizenship, and such verification must follow by a motivated conclusion (мотивированное заключение;) they claim that in order for me to receive it, I must send them a pre-paid self-addressed envelope.
I would like to use such conclusion in order to be able to apply for a passport at another consulate, without having to go through the whole process of citizenship verification all over again.

The problem: I'm visiting Canada and need to send them this self-addressed envelope from Canada, where I can't buy US stamps. Sending a self-addressed envelope from within the US of A, you just buy two stamps from USPS (one to send your envelope in, the other for the sender to get it back to you. Is it possible to send a self-addressed envelope from Canada to the United States, in order to get it back to Canada?

  • 7
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about mail – Nean Der Thal Apr 26 '15 at 20:51
  • 2
    i'm a travelling person, i need to get my papers in order in order to travel! – cnst Apr 26 '15 at 22:30
  • 4
    Check out "international reply coupon", canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/business/productsservices/atoz/irc.jsf – mkennedy Apr 26 '15 at 23:31
  • 4
    @cnst on second thought, you should post a question about the larger problem you need to solve. Why do think you need to send a stamped envelope to the consulate? A consulate in the US normally cannot help you if you are in Canada; you need to apply to the country's consulate in Canada. Are you trying to get a visa to go somewhere? Tell the whole story, and you might get some useful advice. – phoog Apr 27 '15 at 16:45
  • 3
    @cnst I understand that consulates do other things that issue visas. Regardless of the purpose of your business with the consulate, however, the general rule is that the consulate can only help you if you reside in its service area. Do you reside in the US? In general, though, what I am trying to make clear is that if you ask the question again, and explain the circumstances in sufficient detail so that it is clear why your question relates to travel, you are more likely to get a helpful response. – phoog Apr 27 '15 at 18:16

As pointed out by @mkennedy, Canada Post has a service called International Reply Coupon, which, as per their web-site, appears to be a one-size-fits-all that's valid in 191 countries (except for Taiwan), bearing a cost of 6,00 CAD. https://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/business/productsservices/atoz/irc.jsf

However, the problem comes from the fact that, as its name suggests, it's not an actual stamp, but rather a coupon, which must be redeemed for a local stamp at a local post office in the country from which the reply mailing is to be made. (The usage procedure is actually even documented as such right on their web-site.)

The above would go in contradiction with the requirement of having a "pre-paid envelope" -- after all, instead of attaching said coupon, it might as well be easier to provide a two 1 USD bills (see cost below), which, after all, can surely be be exchanged for adequate postage with more ease than having to deal with some sort of coupon most people have never heard of, and which appears to specifically require a visit to the Post Office.

As per Can I combine two French stamps?, it generally costs only a couple of times more to post letters internationally than domestically. As of 2015-05-09, one domestic first-class USPS stamp with a denomination value of FOREVER costs 0,49 USD (the FOREVER stamps will correspondingly and automatically increase in value if the price to post goes up), and such one stamp is sufficient for posting any small letter from any state to any other state. As per http://ircalc.usps.com/MailServices.aspx?country=10054&m=1&o=2.0000, it currently costs 1,15 USD to mail a letter at or below 57 grams (2 ounces) from US to Canada, thus three such stamps at 1,47 USD should be sufficient to post internationally.

As such, the easiest solution would be to buy and affix three FOREVER stamps to the reply envelope, either within Canada, or before making a trip there.

Additionally, it seems like USPS also has the specifically designated GLOBAL FOREVER USPS stamps, too, which are currently valued at exactly 1,15 USD, and will always be sufficient for international postage.

  • 3
    this is a good debunking of the reply coupon, but really glosses over the part where you buy US stamps while you're in Canada. How would someone do that? – Kate Gregory May 10 '15 at 12:09
  • BTW, the Global Forever stamps seem to be a rather new thing -- introduced in 2013; and they actually let you mail 2 oz to Canada, whereas the weight is otherwise limited to 1 oz for other international locations. about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2013/pr13_011.htm – cnst May 11 '15 at 3:06
  • @KateGregory, worst case, perhaps order them directly from usps.com/store ? Google reveals that at certain point a few years ago, usps disabled international orders online, but you could still order over the phone or by fax. I'm not sure if that's still accurate (I think international online ordering might be working again, especially now that they have Global Forever, which would indeed come in handy for self-addressed-stamped-envelope). – cnst May 11 '15 at 3:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.