What You Need To Know About The Canadian Government’s Registration Program For Canadians Overseas

The Canadian government offers a helpful registration service for Canadians abroad. It’s called the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) service (I guess they don’t pay government employees to come up with catchy titles).

Canadian Flag by Alex Indigo

ROCA can be used in two ways: 1) to inform you of an emergency at home, and 2) to contact you with urgent information and advice in case of an emergency.

Policies and coverage can change at any time, without warning. This article is only intended as general advice. Please check your own policy carefully.

Practically, this means that the Canadian government can contact you if there’s a major issue at your destination, such as civil unrest, or an earthquake or other natural disaster.

You’ll need to provide:

  •  your name, date of birth and gender
  • your passport number
  • residency information in your destination country
  • emergency contact information in Canada
  • contact information when you’re out of Canada
  • your departure and trip end dates

You must be a Canadian Citizen to register with ROCA. However, the government of Canada also registers Australian, Jamaican and Israeli citizens when they travel in some countries. Click here for details.

The ROCA program is offered by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

Register for the ROCA program online or by getting in touch with a Canadian office abroad.

Registration is confidential, and you can update information online once you’ve registered.

Photo by Alex Indigo.


*As always, the information in this post is from one Canadian traveller to another and please remember, we are not travel insurance agents. We have just spent years abroad and have gotten to know the ins and outs of the industry. If you have any travel insurance questions, please talk to a qualified travel insurance agent or broker. Finally, insurance plans can and do change all the time so always consult your insurance policy since that is the legal document to which you are agreeing to.

Lanie Kay

A true world traveller, Lanie Kay has been to over 30 countries in the past decade and loves nothing more than waking up in a foreign country. Born and raised in western Canada, she knows the value of a dollar and, just like everyone, wishes there was more transparency when dealing with large companies.

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