Travelers looking to receive their passports can now request mail-in applications to be transferred to any of the more than 300 local Service Canada centres for processing.  

You can still do this if your need for a passport is less urgent, as in those planning to leave Canada within the next few weeks instead of a couple days. 

Applicants in the queue could only ask for a transfer by visiting one of 35 specialized passport sites across Canada or by calling the call center. Until now.  

The new policy is applicable to anyone who has submitted their application by mail in the past 20 business days, which allows for it to be entered into the Canada system, and who have proof that they are travelling within 20 business days from when they ask for a transfer. 

Then the application process will be dependent on the urgency of the person needing it. If they plan on travelling soon, the application can be expedited.  

If you have imminent plans to travel and you need your passport sooner then 20 business days, you can ask for your application to be transferred to a service Canada location, but will have to pay additional fees. 

The changes come into effect months after long and stressful waits for Canadians to renew their passports at chaotic lines at passport offices as workers try to expedite and accommodate everyone for these needed credentials.  

Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister, announced that he would create a committee of cabinet ministers to troubleshoot the issues for immigration applications and passport processing, which he called “unacceptable”. 

The government says they aim to process 90 per cent of applications by mail or made at the Service Canada counter within 20 business days of receiving them.  

The long waits have been blamed on the fact that very few people renewed or applied for new passports during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Government said.  

The government expects to receive more than four million passport applications this year. 

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