Service Canada resumes operations -- here's what it means for your passport application

May 2 2023, 2:14 pm

The biggest federal strike left many Canadians with travel plans in limbo but after the union reached a tentative agreement with the government, Service Canada is set to resume processing passport applications.

As workers went on strike, Service Canada received around 27,900 applications — 81% fewer applications than forecasted for this time. Only applications “that met essential criteria for humanitarian or emergency situations” were processed.

So what does that mean for Canadians looking to travel internationally?


It could result in longer processing times as they recover from the labour disruptions and until the workload inventory returns to normal levels.

With that announcement, Service Canada is expecting a surge in applications, long lines for in-person applications, and longer wait times on the phone.

And there’s no need to line up before offices even open, according to the release — throughout the day, staff will prioritize those with urgent passport needs and imminent travel plans.

The agency is also processing backlogs but when it comes to wait times, the agency assures people that they “have no reason to expect an unreasonable recovery period.”

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould thanked Canadians for their patience and understanding.

“While the labour disruption has had impacts on passport services, we are in a strong position to recover quickly, address any new backlogs or delays, and ensure Canadians receive the passport service they have rightly come to expect,” she stated.

There are 300 Service Canada Centres across the country that offer 20-day service for passport applications. There are also 13 locations that offer 10-day pick-up, as well as 36 specialized locations that offer 10-day pick-up service.

Go to the passport status checker for real-time updates.

Irish Mae SilvestreIrish Mae Silvestre

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