Passport problems as many return to traveling outside Canada

As people return to traveling outside of Canada, many are running into issues getting a new passport.

Amber Kozinski has been looking forward to being in Mexico at the end of April, but her spouse needed a new passport. The process to get this has involved a number of steps at conflicting information.

“When you’re traveling within 25 business days, that can be a little overwhelming,” she said.

The Brantford resident has reached out to other travelers to ask if she could simply go stand in line at Service Canada.

“Some people wrote ‘yes you can go stay’ some people wrote ‘no’,” said Kozinski. “They didn’t want to take them unless they were two business days away.”

She ended up reaching out to her MP’s office and was able to arrange an appointment in Brampton.

“There were probably over 100 people that we walked past [in the line],” Kozinski said.

Employment and Social Development Canada says the average process time for passports is five days if applying by person and 21 days if applying at a Service Canada center or by mail.

“This is an uptick we’ve never seen before,” said Terri Lynne Woods of Royal City Travel. “If they need a passport, a lot of people won’t book until they have it in their hands or confirmation that their passport will be back in time.”

Those who need a new passport within two business days need to go to a passport service office with proof of travel and be prepared to pay an additional fee of $110.

“I think if you just did appointments or if you just let people come and wait, it would go a lot smoother,” said Kozinski. “I think I’ll be a lot more excited [to travel] once we get that passport in the mail.”

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