All You Need to Know About Passport Processing at Service Canada
Service Canada is ready to resume full operations at its Centres and Passport offices after a period of labour disruption. According to an Employment and Social Development Canada news release, the disruption led to a significant drop in passport applications. There was a total of around 27,900 applications received, which is approximately 81% less than the expected volume. However, during this disruption, Service Canada continued to process passports that met the essential criteria for humanitarian or emergency situations.
In addition, those who submitted applications during the disruption can rest assured. Service Canada has received them and they will be processed without needing to reapply. If your application was submitted before the disruption and is currently being processed, you can contact the Passport Call Centre or visit a Passport Office to request prioritization, especially if there’s an immediate need.
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Anticipated Increase in Footfall and Managing Queues
Although some backlog is anticipated, Service Canada does not foresee an excessive recovery period. Nevertheless, a surge in application volumes is expected, potentially resulting in longer queues at Passport offices and Service Canada Centres, as well as higher call volumes at the Passport call centre.
To manage the anticipated increase in footfall, the staff at Passport offices and Service Canada Centres will prioritize customers with urgent passport needs, such as imminent travel. Moreover, clients can rest assured they do not need to queue before office opening hours to be served on the same day.
Staff will triage and manage lines to serve clients throughout the day.Employment and Social Development Canada
Processing Times and Service Options
The Government of Canada strives to maintain its service delivery standard of:
- processing in-person passport applications within 10 business days for specialized passport offices, or Service Canada Centres offering 10-day service, and
- 20 business days for regular Service Canada Centres or applications received by mail.
Before the labour disruption, Service Canada managed to issue nearly 99% of all passports within these target times, irrespective of the application method. However, it’s important to note that the recovery phase might see some extended processing times until the workload returns to normal levels.
Service Canada urges Canadians to choose the service options that best suit their convenience and urgency. Options include over 300 Service Canada Centres providing:
- a 20-day service for passport applications,
- 13 Centres offering a 10-day pick-up service, and
- 36 specialized passport offices with a 10-day pick-up service.
Please note that Canadians can stay informed about the processing of their applications in real time through the online passport status checker.
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