Canadians looking to travel internationally are facing somewhat longer waits for passports due to a surge in applications.
According to Employment and Social Development Canada, the processing time for passports is five business days for those applying in person and 17 business days for those applying by mail.
“With the resumption of travel, Service Canada is experiencing an increase in passport applications nationwide. Employment and Social Development Canada spokesperson Maja Stefanowska told CTV News Atlantic that appointments are prioritized for immediate travel based on their date of travel. given to customers in need.
According to the department, 1.2 million passports have been issued since the beginning of April 2021, compared to 363,000 passports issued from April 2020 to the end of March 2021. Both of these figures are still far from pre-pandemic levels, when Service Canada processed 2.3 million passports between April 2019 and March 2020, according to data provided to CTV News Winnipeg.
The surge in demand is scrambling some travelers.
Ambreen Aaron is planning a trip to the United States for next month, but she doesn’t think her new passport will arrive on time.
“I’ve had to postpone my trip, and my parents are too old and they’re too stressed out looking back at everything,” he told CTV News Winnipeg. “They were expecting a passport at the moment. It’s very disappointing right now.”
Meanwhile in Halifax, Mark Robinson experienced long lines at his local Service Canada location as he tried to renew a passport in time to travel to Disney in two weeks.
“Now we’re in a bit of a panic to renew it before we go,” he told CTV News Atlantic.
Lorne Sheehan, a professor at Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business, said on April 1 with the lifting of some travel restrictions – when vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result upon re-entry – People Watching Will be out there again.
“There is absolutely suppressed demand for travel,” he said. “The passengers have been in the house for the last two years.”
If desperate, Service Canada states that anyone who needs a passport within two business days can go to the nearest Service Canada passport office, but must also bring proof of travel.
Proof of travel may include a travel ticket, a written declaration, an itinerary with proof of payment, or proof of a family emergency requiring immediate travel. The Tatkal Passport comes at an additional cost of $110.
With files from CTV News Atlantic and CTV News Winnipeg