Government of Canada outlines resumption of passport services for Canadians following public service labour disruption

News release

May 1, 2023              Gatineau, Quebec             Employment and Social Development Canada

Service Canada is prepared to resume all services at Service Canada Centres and Passport offices following the end of the public service labour disruption.

During the labour disruption, Service Canada processed passports that met the essential criteria for humanitarian or emergency situations. Nationally, Service Canada received approximately 27,900 applications during the disruption, which represents approximately 81% fewer domestic passport applications than forecasted for this period.

While the labour disruption has had an impact on processing and necessitates some catching-up, Service Canada has no reason to expect an unreasonable recovery period. However, it is expected that the recovery period will see higher than normal application volumes, which could lead to longer lineups at Passport offices, Service Canada Centres, and higher call volumes received through the Passport call centre.

To manage lineups at Passport offices and Service Canada Centres, staff will prioritize clients with more urgent passport needs, including imminent travel. Clients do not need to arrive or line up prior to the opening of offices to be served that day. Staff will triage and manage lines to serve clients throughout the day.

For clients who submitted an application during the labour disruption, Service Canada has received the application and it will be processed. There is no need to re-apply. Clients who applied prior to the labour disruption, and whose application is currently in processing can contact the Passport Call Centre or visit a Passport Office to request that their application be prioritized if they have an imminent need.

Canadians can get real-time updates on the processing of their applications through the online passport status checker.

The Government’s service delivery standard is 10 business days to process in-person passport applications received at a specialized passport office or at a Service Canada Centre offering 10-day service, and 20 business days for applications dropped off at a regular Service Canada Centre or received by mail. Prior to the labour disruption, Service Canada had been delivering nearly all passports within our 10- and 20-day target, with approximately 99% issued within service standards regardless of intake method. The recovery from the labour disruption may result in longer processing times in some cases, until the workload inventory is returned to normal levels.

Service Canada encourages Canadians to take advantage of the service options that are most convenient to them and best meet their needs based on the urgency of their situations. This includes a network of over 300 Service Canada Centres that can provide 20-day service for passport applications, the 13 Service Canada Centres that offer 10-day pick-up service for passports, as well as 36 specialized passport offices offering 10-day pick-up service.


“While the labour disruption has had impacts on passport services, we are in a strong position to recover quickly, address any new backlogs or delays, and ensure Canadians receive the passport service they have rightly come to expect. Over the past year, Service Canada took significant strides in returning the passport program to a steady state by eliminating the previous backlog, consistently meeting service standards, and adding a large amount of new processing capacity. As always, we thank Canadians for their patience and understanding as we return to full service.”

– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada announced a return to a steady state in the passport program on January 24, 2023, following major challenges connected to and exacerbated by the changing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • From April 2022 to March 2023, the Government of Canada issued 3,346,223 passports.

  • Passport Program statistics are published online, and all data is updated weekly.  

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Philippe-Alexandre Langlois
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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