This might be a bit of an odd question so here is the run down: - I was born in France - I live in Canada and am a citizen - I own a valid French passport - My Canadian passport as recently expired - I need to go to the US over the weekend and won't have a Canadian passport on time.

I'm planning on going in the US with my French passport, and pay for the visa. So far no big deals.

What will happen when I come back to Canada with my French passport and/or my expired Canadian passport ? What could happen ? Could they refuse me entry ? Force me to renew my passport on the spot ?

Thanks !

  • 2
    Why not pay for an expedited processing of your canadian passport?
    – Karlson
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 3:10
  • Related to expediting your passport: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/21963/…
    – Karlson
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 3:13
  • 2
    What is likely to happen is that you'll be allowed to enter Canada using your expired Canadian passport. This will take some time for the checks, and you may also be lectured (very likely), temporary detained (also likely), fined (less likely), or worse (not likely).
    – George Y.
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 5:19
  • 1
    Indeed. Urgent service can have you a passport by next business day, so if you apply today (Thursday) you can have it tomorrow and be ready for your weekend trip. Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 5:54

1 Answer 1


Here is what will happen if you fly:

Canada’s new entry requirement

A new entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), is now in effect for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or transiting through Canada by air. To make sure travelling to Canada stays easy and stress free, leniency will be shown to travellers who are caught unaware until November 9, 2016.

Travel documents you will need

Starting November 10, 2016, you will need to show proof you are a Canadian citizen to travel to Canada by air.

Travel documents that prove citizenship are:

  • a valid Canadian passport;
  • a Canadian temporary passport; or
  • a Canadian emergency travel document.

Note: Temporary passports and emergency travel documents are only issued under strict conditions and on a case-by-case basis.

If you don’t have a valid travel document that proves your Canadian citizenship at check-in, you may not be able to board your flight.

If this happens to you:

There are no quick fixes to help you get on your flight.

You will need to contact the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to get the appropriate travel document.

Be prepared: Renew or apply for a Canadian passport as soon as you can before November 9, 2016. Find out how long it takes to get a passport and plan your travel accordingly. It also takes time if you need to get documents such as a proof of Canadian citizenship and or supporting identification documents.

So you can try to set up eTA to Canada on your French passport, which technically looks to be illegal. And get an ESTA as well but I would rather expedite your Canadian passport and be done with it.

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