In tough economic times, governments like to squeeze money from their citizens however they can.
Especially if those citizens are dual.
If you’re of two nationalities with big travel plans in the near future but no Canadian passport, you should probably start practicing your best passport photo gaze now.
Beginning September 30, dual-citizens will need a Canadian passport to travel back to Canada by air.
The initiative marks the final phase of an electronic screening system designed to
heighten both Canadian border security and exit control of travellers make some money.
“What is changing is that the Government of Canada is implementing a new electronic system to assist airlines in verifying that all travellers have the appropriate documents to travel to or transit through Canada by air,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada spokesperson Lindsay Wemp told the Toronto Star.
“Air carriers are obligated by law to confirm that all persons seeking to travel to Canada carry both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. A valid Canadian passport satisfies these requirements for Canadian citizens, and is the only acceptable travel document for the purpose of air travel.”
The news isn’t going over well with dual-citizens who have upcoming travel plans. They’ll now have to scramble to get a shiny new Canadian passport, which doesn’t come cheap ($120 for a five-year passport; $160 for a 10-year).
Critics call the initiative discriminatory and a cash grab. They question why it only applies to air travel.
Under current regulations, Canadian citizens with dual citizenships can use the passport of the other country to enter Canada as long as they can provide proof of Canadian residency in the form of a driver’s license or Canadian citizenship card.