Ottawa Launches Online Portal to Help Canadians Get New Passports Quicker

Canadian Passport

The federal minister responsible for managing Canada’s passport processing has issued a new update about the ongoing passport crisis. In her 21JUL statement, Karina Gould announced the launch of a new Passport Progress web page.

The online portal assembles together in one place, streamlined, easy-to-understand infographics and sections to help Canadians navigate the current passport application process and get up to date information about how the government is resolving the passport application backlog.


“This is a reflection of our commitment to openness and transparency as we tackle this challenge,” Gould’s statement says. “While passport services are not yet back to normal, we have added another tool to share information with Canadians and communicate our progress.”

Clickable subject boxes take users to explanations about what the government is doing to improve services, up-to-the-minute statistics on passport delivery, and relevant FAQ’s that answer current concerns like:

  • I don’t want to get to an office and have to wait an entire day to not be served. What are you doing to solve that?
  • I heard that people were being turned away if they weren’t travelling in 48 hours or less. Is that true?
  • I applied for my passport weeks ago and can’t get an update. What should I do?
  • I have been waiting for a while, and my travel date is coming up fast. What can I do?

The page also provides quick access to information on the best process for applying for a passport, finding a Passport Office or Service Canada Centre location via the Find a Service Canada Office link, and typical service standards.

The government also says it’s taking steps to address passport demands by:

  • expanding the simplified renewal application to any adult passport issued in the last 15 years;
  • launching the eServiceCanada Appointment Booking Tool where Canadians can book appointments for passport applications, which includes directs Canadians travelling immediately or very soon to the right location for service; and
  • making passport wait times available – almost in real time – to help Canadians prepare to go to a passport office—with numbers updated 3 times a day.

“Weekly passport issuance over the last 5 weeks has remained relatively stable, at a higher level than previously. Between 45,000 and 48,000 passports have been issued for each of the last 5 weeks, with the exception of the week of July 4, which saw an improvement to 54,000 issued. We’re doing everything we can to ramp that pace up every week, and get more passports into the hands of Canadians as quickly as possible,” said the statement.

It also revealed that:

  • For the week of 11-17JUL, staff have worked 7,076 hours of overtime.
  • Since 01APR Service Canada has issued 605,440 passports.
  • For the week of 11-17JUL, the average call centre wait time was 56 minutes.

“Service Canada staff are adding capacity, streamlining processes, and putting other solutions in place daily.”

As Open Jaw reported earlier this week, and the minister’s latest statement confirms, the government is working on “digital solutions” for applying for a passport renewal online, and it now says it’s also “exploring technology to allow Canadians to track the status of their applications online.”

Lynn Elmhirst

With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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