Passportunity: People are offering to stand in passport renewal lines for hundreds of dollars

May 2 2022, 7:59 pm

With passport renewal wait times skyrocketing in Canada, thousands are rushing to have their travel documents sorted.

Queues for passport renewal keep growing nationwide and frustrated Canadians are talking about their experiences waiting in lines for hours, sometimes days.

New problems give rise to new solutions, and therefore, many have decided to extend their services to those who don’t want to be bothered with all that.

Daily Hive found ads across Facebook, Kijiji, and other online marketplaces, where people are offering to keep your spot in line for cash.

passport

Facebook

The prices for these services seem to vary arbitrarily, with some charging per hour and others a lump sum. A deposit is usually required.

For a flat rate of $40/hour, Parth Nanda, a Vancouver-based Facebook Marketplace seller, guarantees you a place among the first 10 spots as soon as the passport office opens, so you can “sleep worry-free” while he braves the wait come “rain or shine” — even overnight.

“Passport lineups are long, uncomfortable, and cold. People have gotten to lining up at 9 pm the day before the office opens to get their passports,” wrote Audrey Steinke, a Facebook Marketplace seller from Vancouver, in her ad last week.

“If you don’t have an appointment to get your passport, you need to be lining up at night to get your passport. But if you’re not up for it (understandably so), I will keep your place in the line for you so you can show up at 8:30 am and sleep the night!”

Steinke asks for a modest $800 for her time, which may vary depending on your desired time of arrival.

Over on Kijiji are some more affordable options.

Shahroz Shaikh from Mississauga, Ontario, will get someone to do the job for $20/hour.

“The person will send you a photo when they get in line and pay starts from that point,” he says in his ad, posted over the weekend.

You can even find a deal, if you’re lucky. One Caledonian Kijiji seller, who requires a minimum deposit of $100 and describes himself as a “freelance line stander, will charge you a cool $50/hour for the first couple of hours, and $30/hour there on out.

“Looking for a break, don’t want to stand for hours waiting for passport services, government services, or even more? I’m here to give you that break,” promises Kayla from Surrey, BC. She’ll even drive to “Burnaby, New Westminster, and more” for a travelling fee of $25, in case you aren’t located in Surrey.

Such supply certainly triggers demand. There are individuals seeking such services on Kijiji.

“Willing to pay $20 an hour for someone to wait in line at the Victoria Street passport office,” reads one Paloma A’s listing on Kijiji. “Starting at 3 am – 8 am ($100 total) until I’m able to arrive.”

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