Tuesday,  August 9, 2022  9:20 pm

Service Canada outlines triage measures for passport renewal in big cities

  • Buzz
  •   06-30-2022  10:18 pm
  •   Pax Global Media

Service Canada outlines triage measures for passport renewal in big cities
Service Canada has unveiled triage measures for managing crowds and lineups for new passports in big cities. (Fotinia/Shutterstock)
Pax Global Media

Service Canada has shared an update on the new triage measures it has introduced to better manage the crowds and lineups for new passports in big cities, including the Greater Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal areas.

“Before offices open, at specialized passport sites in each of these cities, increased numbers of managers and executives are assisting and speaking directly with clients,” the department said in a statement on Thursday (June 30).

The triage methods, which began in Montreal on June 20, vary from location to location, but staff will be prioritizing service to those with urgent travel needs within the following 24 to 48 hours, Service Canada says.

In the Greater Vancouver Area, the triage is separated into three groups:

  • Travel within 24 to 48 hours
  • Travel within 3 to 14 days
  • Travel within 15 to 45 days

Priority will go to those travelling within 24 hours, followed by those travelling within 48 hours. A local ticketing system may be used to support triaging efforts.

READ MORE: Passport offices continue to face long lineups; wait times now posted online

For those travelling within 3 to 14 days, clients arriving on site will be triaged and provided with service options.

Clients who are travelling between 15 to 45 days will be directed to a nearby Service Canada Centre where they may be offered appointments on a first-come, first-served basis.

In the Greater Toronto Area, the triage is separated into the following groups:

  • Travel within 24 to 48 hours
  • Travel within 3 to 19 days
  • Travel beyond 20 days (or with no specific travel date)

For travel within 48 hours, clients arriving or on site at any of these locations will receive a ticket with an approximate window of time to return for service at these specialized passport sites.

READ MORE: Trudeau announces new task force to reduce passport wait times

For travel within 3 to 19 days, clients arriving or on site are being directed to specific nearby Service Canada Centres, with appointments.

In the Greater Montreal Area, the triage is separated into four groups:

  • Travel within 24 to 48 hours
  • Passport transfers (meaning clients who previously applied by mail or at a Service Canada Centre)
  • Travel within 3 to 10 days
  • Passport pickups

Preference is being given to those travelling within 24 hours, then 48. And clients arriving or on site will receive a ticket with an approximate window of time to return for service at these specialized passport sites.

For those travelling within 3 to 10 business days, clients arriving or on site are being directed to specific nearby Service Canada Centres, with appointments.

In all cities and scenarios, proof of travel or need is required, Service Canada says.

The government has set up a website that shows approximate wait times at specialized passport sites. Click here to access it. 

“Due to the current backlog, clients may be asked to resubmit photos and original documentation to get faster service,” says Service Canada.

The department also reminds travellers selecting in-person service without an appointment to have all the required documentation for a passport application ready to either renew a passport, or apply for a new passport for an adult or a child.

“The challenges in delivering passports is not uniquely an urban problem, and work is continuing on improving the processing times at centres that handle mail applications, as well as addressing the inventory of applications already in hand,” the department said.

Ottawa's forecast for passports in 2022–23 is 3.6 million to 4.3 million applications. (File photo)

The government’s total forecast for passports in 2022–23 is 3.6 million to 4.3 million applications.

According to Service Canada, 76 per cent of Canadians who applied for a passport, as of June 20, received it within 40 working days.

As well, 94 per cent of Canadians received their passport within 10 working days of applying in person at a specialized site.

READ MORE: Ottawa scrambles to do more to relieve severe delays at some passport offices

Amid the high demand for air travel and reports of long wait times to obtain a new passport, Service Canada has launched an appointment-booking tool that directs clients to the right location for service.

Click here to access the reservation tool.

“Clients should check back often, as appointments are added as they become available,” the government says.

Service Canada says it has also added “almost 600 additional staff” and made changes to its phone system to ensure the system does not drop calls that are on hold.

Passport applications should be submitted well in advance, but for those travelling within two business days, there’s a passport office (Service Canada Centre – Passport Service) available for urgent pickup service.

No appointment is needed but proof of travel or need is required.


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