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Passport services starting to resume in Canada

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Canadians who have an immediate need for a passport can once again apply by mail, as of July 31.

If Canadians are travelling in less than 30 days, or need their passport urgently, they can now request in-person appointments.

If Canadians do not have travel plans, the government media release recommends waiting before applying for a passport. The government expects a delay in processing times due to high demand for passports, and the safety measures implemented to protect staff and Canadians.

Canada has also extended the simplified renewal process, which allows people to apply to renew their passport without resubmitting their citizenship documents and a guarantor declaration. People whose passports expired on or after February 1, 2019 can now use the simplified process within two years after the expiry date rather than just one.

Service Canada Centres are currently delivering passport services by appointment only. The Canadian government webpage offers an online tool to help people find the nearest Service Canada location near them.

“Clients who need a passport in less than 30 days are encouraged to make a request for an appointment,” said former-immigration minister Ahmed Hussen in a media release, “The return of in-person public access to Service Canada offices will build on the new services ‎that were implemented and will continue to provide convenient support to those who need assistance in accessing our benefits and services.”

Canadians who are abroad can contact the nearest Government of Canada office for travel document services. These offices are providing varied levels of passport services, depending on their local conditions.

Refugee travel documents and certificates of identity continued to be processed on an urgent basis.

“Resuming Canadian passport services by mail and expanding in-person appointments for those who need a passport in less than 30 days is a significant first step toward resuming regular passport services in Canada, while prioritizing the health and safety of Canadians and our employees,” Marco Mendicino, Canada’s immigration minister said in the release. “Travel advisories and restrictions remain in effect around the world, but we recognize that many Canadians need a passport for essential travel or to plan for the future and we are making every effort to help them access these services.”

More information on how to apply for a passport is available on the Canadian government webpage.

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