Canada’s passport software backlog now ‘nearly eradicated,’ minister saysJanuary 24, 2023
The federal authorities declared victory over a large backlog of passport functions Tuesday because the Social Growth Minister introduced that 98 per cent of the delayed functions have now been processed.
Most new passport functions have been being processed on time by October, however hundreds of people that utilized earlier than then nonetheless confronted extreme delays.
These delays have lastly come to an finish, Social Growth Minister Karina Gould introduced Tuesday.
“The backlog is nearly eradicated,” she declared throughout a information convention at a cupboard retreat along with her fellow ministers in Hamilton.
The pandemic prompted an almost two-year lull in passport functions, however as soon as folks started to journey once more, the demand for brand new passports grew dramatically.
That surge led to lengthy strains and longer waits for journey paperwork.
The Canadian Press
Some individuals are simply receiving their passports now, even though they utilized as early because the summer season, Ms. Gould mentioned earlier than delivering an apology to those that needed to wait.
The few people who find themselves nonetheless ready may very well be held up for a number of causes, she mentioned. Some functions are extra advanced due to issues equivalent to child-custody points, for instance, whereas others have been flagged for eligibility or integrity causes.
“Canadians can believe that they need to be capable of get their passport on time, as long as all the pieces is right with their software,” she mentioned.
To make amends for the backlog, Service Canada doubled the variety of staff processing passports since March, and employees racked up hundreds of hours of time beyond regulation.
The brand new employees are anticipated to remain on to assist area future spikes in demand, Ms. Gould mentioned.
She mentioned she expects a lot of Canadians to use within the subsequent few years as a result of the primary passports issued with a 10-year expiry date might be due for renewal in July.
Service Canada is anticipated to course of as many as 3.5 million passports this fiscal yr, she mentioned, which is double the variety of passports processed final yr. Between three and 5 million functions are anticipated to return in every year for the subsequent few years.
The excellent news, Ms. Gould mentioned, is that Service Canada might be higher in a position to deal with that stage of demand than it was final spring.
Between 80 and 85 per cent of functions final yr got here from individuals who had by no means had a passport earlier than, which meant they have been extra sophisticated to course of, she mentioned.
“Whereas what we’re anticipating, significantly for this summer season, is a better stage of renewals, and people are a lot less complicated to do,” she informed reporters.
Although passport workplaces are operating usually once more, Ms. Gould nonetheless inspired individuals who plan to journey to examine the expiry dates on their passports and get their functions in early to keep away from delays.