Today, The Honourable Karina Gould announced a new change for passport services in Canada. Canadians can now get in-person service for their mailed-in passports. Also, there are 300 Service Canada centers now which will be providing this service.
“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.”The Honourable Karina Gould
So, to avoid the hassle, Service Canada has come up with a new process. Canadians who have submitted a duly completed application by mail more than 20 business days ago can visit any Service Canada to make a transfer request.
However, you should be traveling within the next 20 business days to be eligible for this. This process is going to assure that all applications are processed in time. So, you don’t need to worry about your travel.
Earlier, there were only 35 in-person specialized passport sites. So, Canadians could only get it done in these sites. Also, they could also do it by contacting the call centre. For the week of July 18 to 24, the average call centre wait time was 50 minutes. However, now they have an additional service option that helps them with their requests.
Moreover, depending on your date of travel, the application might either be expedited or transferred to an office for printing and pickup. So, if your file is expedited, your passport will be mailed to you before the date required
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Reason for in-person passport services!
The purpose of this is to reduce the urgent file transfers processed by passport offices. Moreover, it will also reduce the burden on the printing facilities at those sites. Thus, it will speed up the application processing if the service standard has not been met. Minister Gould believes that “We should also see a further reduction of lineups associated with urgent requests at passport offices.”
However, proof of travel or need will be required. Also, if you have submitted your application by mail less than 20 business days ago, you might have to pay additional fees. This is because a transfer is required due to imminent travel. So, a transfer fee will be charged.
Minister Gould says that they continue to see improvements in many areas all across Canada. Ontario, for instance now has 20 passport services outreach sites. Some of the sites are Strathroy, Exeter, Tilbury, West Lorne, Wingham, Atikokan, Blind River, Chapleau, and so on.
These sites also help clients if they have any questions about the Government of Canada’s benefits and services. The staff on-site can help customers better understand the benefits. Also, people can access the benefits that are eligible for.
“We are making progress on this challenge, and we will continue to provide options to offer a better service experience to Canadians.”The Honourable Karina Gould
Source: ESDC News Release