There have been more than one million applications for new and renewed passports.
New passport service locations are being added by the federal government. People line up outside of a federal building in Montreal to apply for a passport. Graham Hughes
The federal government is adding new passport service locations in order to deal with the problem.
People can now apply for and pick up their passports at Service Canada cent kijijiers in Red Deer, Alta., and Sault Sainte. Marie.
More than one million applications for new and renewed passports have been filed in the last six months.
As of early this month, 25% of those hadn’t been processed.
The gulf between the number of passport applications and the number of passports issued is getting smaller, as the system is starting to catch up with demand.
But a large backlog remains.
The number of passports issued within 40 business days of an application fell in the first week of August.
Prime Minister Trudeau was forced to respond to growing complaints and called the system’s performance unacceptable in June.
76 per cent of passports were issued in the week of June 20.
In the interim, call centre wait times have gone down significantly and 17 passport offices have implementedage measures to mitigate in-person headaches.
Many Canadians wait weeks or months before being able to get an appointment because walk-ins at most offices are limited.
Only big cities like Toronto, Montreal, Montreal, Vancouver,Calgary, Edmonton, Gatineau and Quebec City have urgent passport services.
It is required to get service within two months at offices with 10-day processing times.
Canadians are making fake travel plans to show to passport officers, then cancelling their flights once their application is in the queue, according to reports.
During the summer months, the standard for issuing passports from in-person applications has not changed.
Gould said the government didn’t know what to expect when demand spiked earlier this year.
The government predicts a wait of 13 weeks for passport requests sent by post.
People who have waited more than 20 business days for a mail application and who are travelling within the next 20 business days can visit Service Canada offices to ask for a transfer, making it more likely they will get their application processed before they need to leave.
In response to increased demand, Service Canada added five new locations for passport services in late July.
Staffing levels at the agency increased in early August, with 1,936 employees in its passport workforce.
She hopes to make more announcements soon, as she is working on bringing passport services to nine or 10 additional offices.
—Marie-Danielle Smith, The Canadian Press
There are problems for B.C. residents due to passport processing delays.
The passport wait times are posted online.