“Service Canada is optimistic that these steps will lead to further improvements.”
Still waiting for your passport?
Whether you’ve waited hours in a sprawling line outside a Service Canada office or you’ve anxiously counted down the days before a trip to get your passport in the mail, you’re not alone.
In response to mounting public outcry, the Canadian government announced Thursday (June 23) that it will introduce new “triage measures” to improve the customer experience at passport offices across the country.
In a statement, Karina Gould, minister for Families, Children and Social Development, noted that officials in her department have been working with Service Canada to resolve the long lines.
“Service Canada has added staff, streamlined procedures and increased throughput to address this unprecedented situation,” she said, adding that “significant challenges remain.”
Passport Canada: New Features You Can Expect
Service Canada is now implementing “measures to make wait times at specialized passport sites more predictable and manageable,” explains Gould. These specialized offices will implement new triage measures to create a more “customer specific approach”.
The government rolled out the new measures in Montreal earlier this week and with “ongoing refinements it should improve conditions, especially the experience of those waiting in line,” she added.
The measures have also been extended to Toronto and Vancouverites can expect the new changes from Monday, June 27. The measures will also be implemented in other cities in the country.
In the early morning, more and more managers and executives are helping and speaking directly to customers to determine the queues at specialized passport locations.
Canadian Passport Waiting Times: Triage Methods
Triage methods will vary by location, but staff will focus on clear communication with customers based on their individual needs.
Priority is given to customers traveling within the next 24 to 48 hours, while customers with long-term travel plans are directed to the most appropriate service channels.
“This includes making better use of the network of more than 300 Service Canada locations and ensuring that all centers have the staff, technology and throughput to provide passport service by appointment to customers with less urgent situations, who come to them. have been referred through the triage process,” Gould said.
Changes in Passport Program Delivery
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) staff are now assisting with the direct processing of passports and have found ways to process applications faster.
Canadians with urgent travel requirements who register at specialized passport offices “generally receive their passports in time to travel,” explains Gould. As of June 19, 96 percent of people will receive their passports within 10 business days of submitting an application in person at a specialized site.
“Combined with additional streamlining of passport processing and printing, Service Canada is optimistic that these steps will lead to further improvements,” she added.
The federal government also recently added a new feature that allows people to check wait times at Service Canada offices across the country.
In early May, ads for “passport holders” appeared on online forums such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist Vancouver, and through personal websites. One of the most notable offers was asking for a whopping $800 for an overnight watch service at Sinclair Center in downtown Vancouver.
Recently, a Vancouver blogger went viral after sharing her experience flying to Edmonton to obtain her travel document. She said Vancouver is amazing the Edmonton experience was “night and day compared to Vancouver.”