If your Canadian passport expires this year, the Government of Canada has announced that it will soon be much easier to renew.
Canada has announced that residents will be able to apply to renew their passports online beginning this fall, eliminating the need to head to your local passport office.
Canada's immigration minister made the announcement during a press conference on May 10 unveiling the new design of the Canadian passport.
"Starting this fall, Canadians will be able to renew their passports through an online application, which will include payment processing and uploading their passport photo as well," Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said.
Officials clarified that the online system will only be for renewals, so if you need to apply for a passport, you'll still have to do it the old-fashioned way.
"And it's important to remember that for children under the age of 18, even if you've had a previous passport, it's not considered a renewal. It's considered to be a new application for security and protection reasons," said Karina Gould, Canada's minister responsible for passports.
According to Gould, one of the "lessons" learned last spring when Canada's passport offices were flooded with applications was that the government "needed to modernize the passport delivery system."
"Adding this additional tool means that, for people who are just doing a simple renewal of a valid passport, it will be a lot quicker and easier to process as well because we already have that data in the system," she said.
She added that this July will mark the anniversary of the first 10-year passport applications, so the government is expecting higher volumes of renewals over the next year.
The announcement is the latest in a series of moves the government has made to streamline the passport application process.
In March, Canada launched a newPassport Application Status Checker that allows Canadians to check the status of their passport application online, which the government has since said has led to a reduction in call volumes.
Alongside the announcement, officials unveiled Canada's new passport design, which features enhanced security measures as well as a new colourful look and a brand new cover.
The new passports will start to be produced this summer.