In learning the lessons of a very challenging period, and applying them for the future, this Government is setting up the passport program to be more reliable, more flexible, and more capable of serving Canadians effectively for years to come. Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, announced the launch of a new online Passport Application Status Checker.
Canadians who have recently applied for a passport can now check the status of their application online, with a few clicks and some basic information. The new online Passport Application Status Checker provides Canadians with a useful digital service option for passport services. Shifting these enquiries to an easy-to-use online solution allows Canadians to have faster access to front-line staff to serve them and answer questions, both now and during future seasonal peaks. Service Canada worked with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Shared Services Canada and Canadian Digital Service to develop this new tool.
Service Canada is committed to providing Canadians with passport services in a timely manner. It was announced on January 24, 2023, that the passport backlog has been virtually eliminated, and since October 3, 2022, passport service delivery is back to its pre-pandemic service standards. Today, we can officially say the backlog has been completely eliminated.
The Government’s service delivery standard is 10 days to process in-person passport applications received at a specialized passport office and 20 days for applications received by mail or dropped off at a Service Canada Centre. Because of additional staffing, increased overtime and improved efficiency, Service Canada is delivering most passports by its 10- and 20-day targets, achieving a 96% and 98% rate for complete applications, respectively.
Over the last 10 months, the Government of Canada has worked to provide faster, more convenient passport services for Canadians closer to their homes. This includes the launch of the 10-day passport pick-up service at 13 Service Canada Centres across the country.
Canadians can apply for a passport at these locations and receive it after 10 business days. Once issued, the passport can either be mailed or be picked up in person. Since the launch on August 15, 2022, the 13 Service Canada Centres offering 10-day passport pick-up service have processed over 66,000 passport applications.
Service Canada is exploring the feasibility of adding this service to other Service Canada Centres across the country.
In addition to seasonal peaks, Service Canada is prepared for renewal applications to begin for the first set of passports with 10-year validity, which were issued in July 2013.