Long Wait Times for Passport Processing Persist

Last updated on May 27th, 2022 at 10:31 am

Service Canada announced that it has increased the number of staff at passport service offices to help decrease processing time during the busy summer season. Yet there is evidence that Canadians looking to renew or get their first passport will have to wait a long time still. 

As of now all of the Service Canada locations that have been shut down due to Covid 19 have been reopened and are serving the public. This represents approximately a 40% increase in capacity. The waiting room area has been expanded as well to accommodate a rush of applicants. 

In addition, the agency has been on a hiring spree, with more than 600 new agents added to speed up application processing as well as opening up passport counters in 300 Service Canada locations. 

But still many travelers find little relief as the wait times keep surging.  

Some people resort to camping outside Service Canada offices overnight to get an expedited processing of their applications after being unable to receive their applications submitted by mail months ago. People resort to having to push back their travel plans. 

Service Canada has issued 363,000 passports between April 2020 and March 2021. But since many countries including Canada have eased their pandemic restrictions- the number of passports issued surged to 1,273,000., a massive increase that causes the long wait times. 

Many people blame the lack of foresight on the part of the federal government who could have gotten better prepared for the surge in applications. 

Some pandemic measures are winding down by the federal government. This will impact border measures for people arriving in Canada. However, some measures, such as masks on planes and vaccine mandates for domestic travel are still in place, despite those being widely unpopular. 

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