I AM currently studying at a university of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. My passport will expire in four months. I need to renew it. I visited the website of the Pakistan High Commission in Canada and discovered that machine-readable passports (MRP) are issued by the Pakistani consulate in Toronto only.

The Vancouver office issues only manual passports for Pakistani citizens. Moreover, there is an announcement on the website of the Pakistan high commission in Vancouver that all new manual passports will be valid till November, 2015, while the machine-readable passports are valid for 10 years and charges for manual passports are the same as for the MRP.

Considering that my four years of undergraduate degree will complete in 2014, I would be applying for post-graduate work permit which will be of three years’ duration. Unfortunately, I will not be able to get a full three-year duration postgraduate work permit because no Canadian visa/permit document can be valid beyond the date of expiry of the candidate’s passport. In my case, my passport will again expire in November 2015.

I will have to again reapply for permit extension and passport renewal, paying all fees again. I have read a couple of newspapers stating that Vancouver and some other consulates already have the equipment for MRP but because of absence of staff, they are not issuing MRP to applicants.

I am not alone who will be going through this unwanted trouble. Flying time between Toronto and Vancouver is four-and-a-half hours (nine hours in total). A return air ticket can cost between 500 and 800 Canadian dollars. For a student like me, it is almost impossible to go to Toronto for renewing passport.

I request the authorities concerned to issue MRPs from the nearest possible high commission in Canada, in particular, because of the size of the country, and the world over, in general.

ABID REHMAN Vancouver, Canada

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Comments (24)

June 15, 2013 7:55 pm
Grow up and stop being a baby
June 15, 2013 9:15 am
If you are fortunate enough to visit another part of the world and unfortunate enough to visit Pakistan embassy there, you would know that first thing they tell you is why they can NOT help you. I can only say: Get Used To It!
Saqib Manan
June 15, 2013 9:40 am
according to a recent circular issued by ministry of interior the Pakistani high commissions are empowered to extend your existing mrp can be extended for 5 years..... no charges paid
June 14, 2013 3:23 pm
I do not see any problem in getting a new passport from Toronto by mail. The Pakistan High Commission should encourage issuance/renewal of passports by post.
Bakhtawer BIlal
June 14, 2013 12:13 pm
Are you guys jealous of him sitting in Canada. It is not moaning. He is a Pakistani so has expectations from Pakistan. Cannot complaint about Canadian system. And Abid for you, did explore the possibility of getting the passport renewed in mail.
June 14, 2013 6:33 pm
Don't understand why he should write something better about Pakistan, if people of Pakistan don't criticise how will this corrupted system will change. I hope you why there is so much delay in passports processing. It is because lamination, minister interior wants to give contract to contractor "A" and bureaucracy wants to give contract contractor "B" so they were trying to save their own vested interests.
June 14, 2013 5:58 pm
You seems to be son of politician or bureaucrat who don't do there job just talk and put blame on others. I don't think you can understand his problem. He is a student and studying in Canada, you can not think how he is managing his funds, may doing under paid job.
June 14, 2013 1:54 pm
you can send your passport and application to the embasy in toronto with a return envolope, Ive done this twice when i was in vancouver
Gerry D'Cunha
June 14, 2013 10:55 am
renewals of british passports at the british deputy high commission in karachi and lahore are sent to islamabad - equipment for mrp are expensive - so my friend do not moan and as gullu rightly said, people in pakistan are struggling to get their passport - understand the situation
June 14, 2013 1:58 pm
I though you were the child of an Army officer. Just use your family's hidden riches.
N. sadique
June 15, 2013 2:57 am
Pakistan counslate in Toronto taking six months or some time more to renew a Pakistani Passport. Please keep this in mind when you apply for renewal.
June 15, 2013 3:30 am
You are sound like a rich child you can afford to go to Toronto and come back stop crying.
June 14, 2013 8:32 am
just spend the money and do it.. stop moaning about it.
June 14, 2013 8:50 am
I am sure if you had to travel to Toronto for your work permit you would fly all the way without uttering a word...you should be thankful that you are still being issued passport while sitting in Canada. People in Pakistan our struggling to get their passports while residing in Pakistan and paying all the fee. So please make some better use of your education and write something better about Pakistan.
June 14, 2013 12:06 pm
Gullu, what is your excuse for not writing something better about Pakistan? You said people in Pakistan are struggling.... You are doing more harm to belittle Pakistan.
June 15, 2013 12:41 pm
Listen Sir, You are not as ignorant as you may like us to believe. People have been sending their passports via mail for renewals for ages. You just want it your way.
June 15, 2013 2:04 pm
He can't apply for an MRP through mail; one needs to be personally present at the consulate/embassy for the fingerprints and the photograph. He could apply for a manual passport but then it would be valid only till Nov. 2015 whereas he needs a passport which would be valid for more than three years because of his work permit. If we can't offer any practical advice to the guy, the least we can do is show some sympathy for him.............
June 15, 2013 2:47 pm
Send your passport to Consulate of Pakistan in Toronto 7880 Keele Street, Unit 13-18, Vaughan, ON L4K 4G7 Canada, and they will renew it for you, but they take time, they are not as disciplined, responsible and active like our Canadian passport office.
June 15, 2013 10:42 pm
All you need is a $40 return FEDEX Envelop or a 20$ Canada Post return envelop. There are Pakistani students in several cities of Canada - from Halifax to Calgary- it is not possible for Pakistan to set up MRP Passport system in each of those cities
June 15, 2013 4:33 pm
They want the applicant to appear in person...They collect some bio metric data..Check the Toronto website !
June 15, 2013 4:39 pm
What makes you think that only rich people(assuming that ordinary army officers are rich-trust me they are not) go to other countries for studies? Ever heard of merit based scholarships?
June 15, 2013 4:40 pm
Only manual passports are issued by mail ! for MRP you need to appear in person !
Saima Yusuf
June 15, 2013 8:23 pm
Similar experience in Mexico. GOP has failed to provide finger printing / bio-metric machines in all of our embassies. The deadline for Machine Readable Passports was December 2012 which has now been extended to end 2015. The fingerprinting machines are as easy to operate as a photocopying machine . One view is that some in the previous interior ministry wanted to appoint their chosen staff in each embassy to install/maintain and operate this machine. The FM on the other hand seems did not agree with it. As a result, one needs to either travel all the way to Pakistan or to our nearest embassy in this case USA to have the bio-metrics recorded. Countries like USA, UK, Saudi Arabia and UAE apparently to not accept manual passports.
Salman M
June 15, 2013 10:12 pm
I live in USA and had a similar experience with renewing my Pakistani passport. I live in Houston, TX. The Pakistani consulate in Houston can only issue manual passports. I had to fly to New York to apply for MRP passport from Pakistani consulate in New York. The problem with MRP is that you have to be physically present to apply for it. That is why you can not apply through mail. I agree that Pakistani government needs to make this facility available in more cities in Canada and New York and any other foreign cities where Pakistanis reside.
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