The federal government is adding new passport service locations across Canada to improve passport service delivery and decrease wait times for Canadians.
Since pandemic restrictions were eased, the huge demand for travel has caused long wait times at Service Canada locations across the country. Since April, more than 1 million applications have been submitted.
Social Development Minister Karina Gould announced that people can now apply for and pick up passports at Service Canada centres in Red Deer, Alta., Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Trois-Rivieres, Que., and Charlottetown, P.E.I.
The triage system introduced this summer in 17 of the 35 passport offices has made a significant impact in reducing lineups and redirecting Canadians to the appropriate means to access service. The average wait time at call centres has also improved, going from a peak of 108 minutes in April to 27 minutes in early August.
“Service Canada is working tirelessly to identify and implement solutions that not only improve the speedy delivery of passports, but also improve the service experience for Canadians. We will continue to make our services more accessible for all Canadians,” said Minister Gould.
The new locations are on top of the five announced in July: Brampton, Whitby, Pointe-Claire, Calgary Sundance and Richmond.
Unlike the regular Service Canada Centres, these four locations offer 10-day service, which means that Canadians can apply for a passport in one of those four locations and the passport will be available after 10 business days, either by mail or in person pick-up. If Canadians need their passport in less than 10 business days, they will need to visit a passport office that offers Express or Urgent pick-up service.
The expansion of pick-up sites will allow many Canadians who need to pick up passports to do so closer to their homes. More scheduled outreach sites that will provide certain passport services will be added in the coming weeks across the country.