Is Your Passport Up to Date?
With restrictions now easing up, you may have heard that there will be lengthy wait times for passports due to the recent surge in demand for travel. According to a rep for the department for Employment and Social Development Canada who spoke with CTV, “1.2 million passports have been issued since the start of April 2021 [compared to] 363,000 passports issued from April 2020 to the end of March 2021”.
Normal processing times for passports take about 20 business days plus mailing time, which may be an additional few weeks. But with this pent-up demand for travel, wait periods could be much longer. However, Service Canada passport offices are issuing urgent passports to those who have to travel within two business days – this will come at a much higher fee and the traveller will have to provide proof of travel in the form of:
- Travel tickets,
- A written declaration, or
- An itinerary with proof of payment
Even if your passport does not expire until next year, some countries will not permit travellers to enter if their passport expires in less than 6 months from the date of their scheduled return flight home. Please speak with our destination specialists for accurate passport requirements for the destinations you plan on visiting.
Here’s what you need to do to renew or update your Canadian passport:
- Visit the Canada.ca website and follow the questionnaire prompts
- Download the Application Form that pops up and fill it out (this is required for both mail-in or in-person renewals)
- Ensure you have all the required documents – the type of relevant documents required will be indicated as you go through the application process. If these aren’t submitted altogether, you will need to go through the process once more, and will be charged the renewal fees all over again. Supporting documents can include everything from your old passport, references, passport photos and more – always double check your application form. To contact Canada’s Passport Services: 1-800-567-6868
- Pay the relevant fees
- Mail in your documents, or visit a Service Canada kiosk with your completed application form, relevant documents, visas, and/or valid pieces of identification.
Our staff are happy to point you in the right direction to ensure you have access to the right passport services for a worry-free vacation. Other than a current passport, there are still additional travel requirements in place such as Covid-19 testing, using the mandatory ArriveCAN app to submit travel documents, etc. These preconditions can seem overwhelming, but we are here to help every step of the way.
*Above information current as of 11 Apr 2022 and subject to change.