Minister Gould announces changes to make it easier for Canadians to receive in person service at more than 300 Service Canada Centres for their mailed-in passport applications
July 29, 2022 Gatineau, Québec Employment and Social Development Canada
“The recent increase in passport demand combined with the longer processing times have resulted in a growing number of Canadians requiring their passport applications be transferred to local passport offices for processing in order to get them in time to travel. This has been stressful for Canadians and a challenging way for them to get their documents.
“To help make this process easier for Canadians, Service Canada has implemented a new process. As of now, Canadians who provided a duly completed application by mail more than 20 business days ago, and are travelling within the next 20 business days, can visit any of over 300 Service Canada Centres to make a transfer request, in order to ensure their application is processed in time for their travel.
Previously, Canadians could only request transfers in person at one of 35 specialized passport sites (Service Canada Centre – Passport Services), or by contacting the call centre. This change gives Canadians an additional service option to make these requests.
“Depending on the date of travel, the application will either be expedited and the passport will be mailed to the client before the date required, or the file will be transferred to an office for printing and pickup.
“This change aims to reduce the number of urgent file transfers processed by passport offices and to minimize the burden on local printing facilities at those sites. It will speed up the processing of passport applications when the service standard has not been met and a file transfer has been requested as a result. We should also see a further reduction of lineups associated with urgent requests at passport offices. A proof of travel or need will be required.
“If the application was submitted by mail less than 20 business days ago and a transfer is required due to imminent travel, transfer fees will apply and additional fees may apply.
“We continue to see improvements in different regions across the country, especially outside our largest cities. For example, in Ontario, Service Canada has expanded delivery of passport services to 20 scheduled outreach sites. These scheduled outreach sites allow staff to answer questions and guide clients through a range of Government of Canada benefits and services, helping them better understand and access the ones available to them.
“We are making progress on this challenge, and we will continue to provide options to offer a better service experience to Canadians.”
- The scheduled outreach sites in Ontario are: Strathroy, Exeter, Tilbury, West Lorne, Wingham, Atikokan, Blind River, Chapleau, Cochrane, Gore Bay, Hearst, Iroquois Falls, Lac Seul First Nation, Pikangikum, Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, Sturgeon Falls, Terrace Bay, Thessalon and Wawa.
- For the week of July 18 to 24, the average call centre wait time was 50 minutes.
- For the week of July 18 to 24, Service Canada has issued 51,418 passports.
- Since April 1, 2022, Service Canada has issued 665,532 passports.
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