If you're anxiously waiting on your Canadian passport, a new tool may ease your worries about whether or not it will arrive on time.
Canada's passport minister announced Tuesday that a new service for Canadians would make it simpler for them to check their passport application status, smoothing the process of preparing for future travel.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould announced yesterday that Canadians who recently applied for a passport can now check the status of their application online.
According to a press release, Service Canada's new Passport Application Status Checker allows Canadians to easily contact staff for answers to their questions about their passport, including its status.
Until today, residents could only call in to check in on the status of their applications.
Officials say the tool will give Canadians faster access to front-line staff, both now and during peak periods.
In the past year, passport offices in Canada were overwhelmed by the number of applications, creating a large backlog that saw many residents waiting months for their passport application, which often resulted in derailed travel plans.
The backlog also created extremely long wait times at Service Canada offices across the country, with applicants waiting hours in line to be seen.
Gould announced in January, however, that the backlog had been "virtually eliminated," saying that Service Canada was exceeding its delivery standard for most applications.
Along with Tuesday's announcement about the Passport Application Status Checker, Gould said that the passport backlog has now been "completely eliminated."
The new tool can be accessed online. Those looking for updates on their applications will have to provide a few details, including where, how and when they applied for their passport and their file number.
If you've got travel coming up, you'll want to be aware of the service times so you know when to renew your Canadian passport.
The current service standard times for receiving your passport is 10 days to process in-person applications received at a specialized passport office, and 20 days for applications received by mail or dropped off at a Service Canada Centre.
Canadians who are in a hurry can also visit one of 13 Service Canada centres that offer 10-day passport pick-up service.
Unlike at regular Service Canada Centres, passport applications made at one of these locations will be available in 10 business days, either by mail or in-person pick-up.
According to the release, Service Canada is currently looking at the possibility of adding the service to other centres across the country.