With the arrival of spring, and warmer weather on the way, it’s time to book time-off for your summer vacation. And for those planning on traveling outside of Canada, comes the need to check the expiration date on your passport and other official documentation. 

Program Director at Eastman Immigrant Services says, doing this is also very important step to take, especially for newcomers to the province.  

Gwen Reimer says they have had a couple of situations come up recently at the Steinbach office and would like to make sure that everyone that wishes to travel without hassle and less stress check a few items off their to-do list, before packing their bags. 

“So, if you are a Canadian Citizen, check the expiry date on your passport. Renewing your passport takes about 10 to 20 business days, plus mail-time.” 

“If you are a Permanent Resident, make sure to check the expiry date on your PR card, as well, as your Canadian passport. You cannot return to Canada with an expired PR card and can only renew your card within Canada. If you are outside of Canada with an expired PR card, you will have to apply for a PR TD, which is a Permanent Resident Travel Document.” 

She explains that a PRTD takes a minimum of three weeks to be processed.  

Reimer continues, “For a work and study permit holder, if you're planning to travel, you will need a valid travel document to return to Canada. A Work Study Permit is not a travel document. You will need a TRV or a Temporary Resident Visa or an electronic travel authorization, which in short is an ETA, to return to Canada. So, make sure to check the expiry date on your permit, your passport and travel documents before traveling outside of Canada.” 

“It’s just something to be aware of because we don't want anybody to get stranded anywhere, right? If you have any questions regarding this our settlement facilitators at Eastern Immigrants Services are always willing and helpful. They are very knowledgeable, and we'd love to pass that information on.” 

Reimer adds, “We want people to enjoy travel. We want them to have fun while they're traveling and be able to relax because they have current documentation.”

Eastman Immigrant Services flags from Pioneer Days Parade (photo from EIS website)

For more information contact Gwen Reimer and staff at Eastman Immigrant Services at D4-284 Reimer Avenue, Steinbach.