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New Measures For Canadian Passports Are Coming & The Backlog Will 'Drop Significantly' Soon​

The government is also looking at introducing online passport renewals.

Trending Senior Staff Writer
​Person holding two Canadian passports with boarding passes.

Person holding two Canadian passports with boarding passes.

The federal government is introducing measures to help improve wait times for Canadian passports, and there's a timeline for when the backlog will "drop significantly."

In a statement issued by Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould on July 7 about Canada's passport delays, she said the situation is "unacceptable," and Canadians should get new or renewed passports "in a timely manner."

However, the minister noted that "the majority of Canadians" who have immediate needs for travel documents are getting their passports in time for their trips.

Gould said Service Canada has made specialized passport sites "more responsive and efficient" to help Canadians who have passport needs that are urgent now because of delays.

An enhanced triage system that prioritizes people who have urgent travel needs within 24 to 48 hours has been introduced at passport offices in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

"Service Canada plans to expand this strategy to additional passport offices in the coming weeks," Gould said.

Along with that, new specialized staff are being trained to approve passports, and more staff are being added to speed up the renewal process and deal with simple applications.

"Through continued efforts to maximize efficiency, increase resources and streamline processes, we expect the passport backlog to drop significantly by the end of the summer," Gould said.

To help "improve, modernize and streamline" Canada's passport system, the federal government is looking into making it possible for people to submit renewals online and track the status of their applications online.

According to the federal government, applications submitted by mail are processed within 10 weeks. That's in addition to the time spent in the mail.

For applications submitted in person, the processing time is apparently 10 business days or less, plus mailing time.

The federal government recently introduced a simplified renewal application process to make it easier to get your passport when it's expired, lost, stolen or damaged.

With this renewal process, you don't need to have a guarantor or provide original documents, including proof of citizenship or photo ID, as you did before.

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