Service Canada has confirmed that passport delivery times have returned to the processing standards observed before the pandemic.
According to a recent news release by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), all passport application backlogs have been successfully cleared. Service Canada is currently surpassing the delivery standard for most applications. These achievements are noteworthy, especially considering the brief disruption caused by the 12-day strike carried out by the Public Service Alliance of Canada from April 19 to May 1.
Presently, nearly all passports deliver within the 10-20-day target timeframe, which may vary depending on the method of passport application submission. Remarkably, ESDC has reported that approximately 98% of issued passports meet the service standards, regardless of the intake method chosen by applicants.
These developments significantly improve passport processing efficiency, ensuring Canadians receive their passports promptly and efficiently. The efforts of Service Canada and ESDC have successfully eliminated backlogs and streamlined the delivery process, allowing individuals to obtain their passports within the anticipated time frame.
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New Upcoming Improvements
The recent announcement comes exactly one year after Canadian passport offices faced an unprecedented surge in demand for new or renewed passports due to the lifting of various COVID-19 travel restrictions. Many passport offices witnessed lengthy queues, some even camping overnight to ensure their in-person applications are processing.
The department has been actively enhancing its services in preparation for an anticipated wave of passport renewals this summer. This is particularly important as the passports issued with 10 years of validity, introduced in July 2013, are nearing expiration dates.
These service improvements will significantly ease the process for new Canadian citizens, enabling them to plan their travels to reunite with their loved ones back home using their new passports this summer.
Enhancements to Canadian Passport Services: Advancements and Upgrades
Passport Canada has issued a remarkable 852,589 passports in 2023 thus far, while between April 2022 and March 2023, the number was – 3,346,223. The agency foresees issuing between 4.3 and 4.9 million passports in the 2023/2024 fiscal year. It’s important to note that passports are exclusively available to Canadian citizens.
Service Canada has devised an effective strategy to uphold service standards: introducing online passport renewal. Starting May this year, individuals with passports that expired within the past 15 years or those facing loss, theft, or damage can now conveniently submit the required documents online, eliminating the need to wait in queues or send essential documents via mail.
While the online passport renewal option doesn’t apply to new citizens applying for their first Canadian passport, Service Canada has taken additional measures to enhance passport services. During the spring, they opened 7 new 10-day passport offices in strategic locations across Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.
These offices are situated in:
- Prince George (British Columbia)
- Lac-Mégantic, Quebec
- Gaspé, Quebec
- Saint-Georges (Quebec)
- Timmins, Ontario
- Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec
- and Dryden (Ontario).
Once an application is submitted, Canadians can conveniently track their passport status through the online passport application status checker. Since its launch on March 21, 2023, the status checker website has received over 702,000 visits, reflecting its usefulness and popularity among applicants.
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