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Canada Introduces Gender-Neutral Passports

Canada Introduces Gender-Neutral Passports
Jennifer Billock

Canada has introduced a new gender option to its passport applications, leaving some with questions.

Canada has revamped its passport applications to include a gender-neutral option, has reported. The country joins two countries, Australia and New Zealand in offering unspecified gender options, and Denmark, Germany, Malta, Nepal, Pakistan, Ireland, and India also provide third options. The new option will be on more than just passport applications, too – it will be on every federal document the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada organization issues. Officials in Canada made the change in an effort to advance the gender equality of Canadian citizens.

But some questions surround the change. The option isn’t available on passports from every country, so it could lead to confusion while traveling. There are also concerns that having gender-neutral options could cause hassles or security risks – including situations when a gender-neutral person travels to a country with anti-LGBTQIA laws, where they might be subject to extra scrutiny or even discrimination.

The International Civil Aviation Organization mandates that all travel documents include a gender identification field, but some have questioned why that matters to include on passports. In response, the ICAO said it would be willing to consider removing the field, but currently, the costs outweigh the benefits of making the change universal.

Canadian passport holders are also concerned that a gender-neutral specification may make it harder to travel freely throughout the world. The Canadian government, though, has noted that simply having a passport does not guarantee entrance into any country; it’s always a decision made by the border control authorities at the destination.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (2)


  1. rylan

    September 21, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Stupid waste of time

  2. benitovacation


    September 21, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    PC crap. total waste of time…

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