No more waiting in long lines.👇
The federal government has laid out its plans to reduce passport wait times at Service Canada locations, as well as potential policy changes that would simplify the overall process.
In a notice shared on Tuesday, June 14, Employment and Social Development Canada acknowledged the lengthy lines and long wait times that Canadians have been experiencing when trying to apply for or renew passports.
The agency blamed the "significant surge in demand for passports" for the delays and said, "the size and suddenness of this surge has created delays for Canadians in getting the passport services to which they are entitled."
Describing the wait times as "far from acceptable," the federal government says it is considering a number of options to help speed up the processing of passport applications.
This includes "potential policy changes" that officials say would simplify the passport program even further, as well as more automation services.
This would follow changes to the passport renewal process back in April, which made it easier and simpler for Canadians to get a new passport.
Under the new process, applicants are no longer required to have a guarantor or provide original documents like proof of citizenship or photo ID.
Instead, two photos, two references, the completed form and applicable fees are all that's required.
Minister of Children, Families and Social Development Karina Gould promised to share more details about the upcoming changes as they come into effect.
In the meantime, officials have added approximate wait times online so that Canadians know what to expect before heading to a passport office.
Additionally, the feds say Service Canada Centre employees have been working overtime and on weekends to help tackle the backlog of applications.
Hundreds of employees have also been hired, with as many as 600 more set to join Service Canada before the end of the year.
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