Travel restrictions

Additional measures to provide timely passport services to Canadians as travel restrictions ease around the world

GATINEAUQC, May 17, 2022 /CNW/ – With the easing of pandemic-related restrictions around the world, interest in travel is increasing among Canadians, and the demand for new or renewed passports is growing along with it. A service Canada is experiencing increases in passport processing times and is responding by prioritizing those with imminent travel and ensuring that those with less urgent needs can access the right service channels for them.

A service from Canada The ability to serve Canadians quickly has been impacted by the unprecedented volume of requests and the requirement to impose in-person capacity limits for customers and staff to protect the health and safety of visitors and people working at Service Canada Centres.

A service Canada is pleased to announce the reopening of all passport service counters across the country. Reopening measures were put in place the week of May 9 after a short trial period. They mark a return to pre-pandemic in-person service capacity, with a 40% increase in capacity at service counters. Waiting room capacity has also been significantly increased, and Service Canada has also taken additional steps to simplify and speed up passport processing.

A number of measures have been put in place to make it easier for Canadians to access passport services and to improve and streamline processing to better meet their needs.

A service Canada hired 600 new employees specifically to support the processing of passport applications, opened more passport reception counters at more than 300 Service Canada Centres, opened additional processing centers and created new workload management and processing technology work to increase efficiency, while respecting health protocols. A service Canada continues to hire and train more staff, and the passport office, processing and call center teams are working overtime daily and on weekends to increase processing capacity. This includes the opening of some Service Canada Centers on Saturdays for passport service.

A simplified renewal process now allows applicants to renew an expired passport if it was issued within the last 15 years. The simplified process is also available for those whose passport has been lost, stolen or damaged. Applicants do not need to have a guarantor or provide their original documents, such as proof of citizenship or photo ID. They just need two photos, two references, their completed form and applicable fees. These changes make it easier and faster to renew a passport, while maintaining the highest level of program integrity.

A service Canada also launched eservices.canada.ca/reservation/, an online appointment booking tool that applicants can access 24/7 from their computer, tablet or cell phone to book their appointment you online. The tool also directs them to the right place to submit their passport applications. A service Canada recognizes that certain circumstances cannot wait for an appointment:

  • Anyone who needs a passport within two working days must go to one of the specialized passport sites (Service Canada Centers – Passport Service) offering an urgent pick-up service. Proof of travel is required.
  • Those traveling within 25 business days can use the walk-in service at one of the 35 specialized passport sites (Service Canada Centers – Passport Service). Appointments are recommended and proof of travel is required. Please note that wait times at these sites may be long due to current demand.
  • For anyone traveling in more than 25 days (or without a specific travel date), more than 300 Service Canada Centers are available to receive passport applications in person. No proof of travel is required. These candidates also have the option of sending their application by post.

Although processing times are currently longer than before the pandemic, 98% of Canadians who apply in person at a specialized passport office currently receive their passport in less than 10 business days. In March and April 2022Service Canada has received approximately 500,000 passport applications and is therefore prioritizing those with more imminent travel.

Canadians should ensure they have a valid passport well before booking a trip. If they need a passport or need an existing passport renewed, they should apply well in advance of booking their trip to ensure it can be issued on time.

Estimate

“A service Canada and its employees work hard to provide the services Canadians need, where and when they need them. We do this by planning for increases in demand, adapting our processes where and when we can, and leveraging technology to streamline our processing and receiving. Our teams are currently responding to a significant increase in passport demand, working hard to maintain our service standards and provide Canadians with the documents they need to travel. We thank Canadians for their patience during this time and continue to encourage them to plan ahead and apply early if they need passport services. »
Lori MacDonaldSenior Associate Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development and Chief Operating Officer of Service Canada

Fast facts

  • Since April 1, 2020for March 31, 2021, Service Canada issued 363,000 passports. Since April 1, 2021for March 31, 2022this number increased to 1,273,000 passports issued, of which more than 960,000 between September 1, 2021and March 31, 2022.
  • A service Canada expects to receive 4.2 million passport applications in fiscal year 2022-23.
  • In April 2021approximately 69,000 applications were received, compared to 261,000 applications in April 2022.
  • Since April 1, 2022Service Canada issued 210,219 passports.

Related links

Canadian passports and travel documents – Canada.ca
Find a Service Canada office
Welcome to eServiceCanada’s Appointment Scheduling Tool – E-service Canada.ca

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]