Canadian government still dealing with 40,000 mail-in passport backlog

Jan 10 2023, 12:24 am

The Canadian federal government is still dealing with a substantial backlog of mail-in passport applications after a surge in demand and slim staffing led to massive delays last year.

There’s currently a backlog of nearly 40,000 mail-in passport applications that still need attention, according to a spokesperson for Employment and Social Development Canada, the bureau that manages Service Canada locations.

“The high application volume in the first half of 2022, combined with the health and safety measures in place, led to a build-up of inventory that exceeded our capacity to process applications within service standards,” the spokesperson said. “The proportion of applications received by mail nearly doubled. It is about 40% less efficient to process these applications than in-person applications.”

Service Canada’s summer hiring blitz led to a return to normal staffing, which means applications received after October 3 are being processed at more normal speeds — within 20 business days, 94% of the time for mail-in applications, and within 10 business days, 98% of the time for in-person applications.

“All efforts continue to be made to process applications received before October 3, including having dedicated resources processing these applications,” the spokesperson said.

Still waiting for the passport that you mailed in? Clients who haven’t received their travel documents more than 20 business days after applying can request a transfer by contacting the Passport Program or visiting a passport office or Service Canada Centre.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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