Insights & Analyses

Canada begins offering gender-neutral option on visitor travel documents – One World Identity

November 11, 2016

Gender non-conforming travelers with passports reflecting their identity should find easier travel into or through Canada, thanks to a new “other” gender option added to paperwork needed for visitors to the Great White North.

The change to Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorizations was made after an internal report found that some potential visitors who did not identify as either male or female were prevented from completing the form, according to the CBC.

The revision was prompted, in part, because at least seven countries offer an option for gender non-conforming passports, including Australia, Germany, India, and Pakistan.

Without an “other” option on Canadian travel documents, there was no way for some travelers to accurately match visitor documentation with what was listed on their passport. As a result, Canada’s internal systems would not allow paperwork to be finalized for travelers who did not select one of the two traditional gender options.

But now, by adding an alternative “other” category, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration can allow those travelers to pass freely without issue.

The change for travelers is just a first step for the country, as it looks to expand its “gender inclusiveness” for all, including its own people. The government also plans to allow Canadian citizens the ability to change their gender on some official documents, including passports, in the near future.