Thanks for stopping by to read the latest chapter of my Canadian passport saga.
If you’ve been keeping up, in Canada there are huge delays to renew or apply for a passport. People have been camping out in front of the Service Canada Passport offices.
Click this link to read more about passport chaos in British Columbia.
I didn’t want to camp or stand in line for hours and not even get inside the door to renew my passport in the Greater Vancouver Area. Like many others, I searched online for appointments outside the region. I booked an appointment in Salmon Arm and that led to my road trip for a Canadian passport.
Canadian passport renewal
I’ve held a Canadian passport continuously since I was 14 years old. Passports were good for five years and a renewal application has to be filled out every time. This meant getting a guarantor to sign my passport renewal each time. And it had to be signed by a career professional. This meant a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or banker. Though I had my vet sign the papers a couple of times. A doctor is a doctor!
Eventually the guarantor requirements relaxed and could be signed by someone (not a relative) who has known the passport applicant for a specific number of years.
Eventually for passport renewals, the guarantor signature each time dropped off. And a few years ago the option of a 5 year or 10 year passport came into play. Wonderful!
In the past there has been no problem renewing my passport, and it usually arrives in two or three weeks.
Long delays for Canadian passports
When I brought my passport renewal application in to the Service Canada office at the end of May, it said my passport would be mailed out late June.
The clerk told me there was a backlog and expected time is closer to two months.
I figured that shouldn’t be a problem. I was planning to drive down to Oregon in September. Yay! Another Oregon road trip!
August arrived and I became nervous when my passport hadn’t shown up. My passport receipt advises me where I can check on the status of my passport.
I started off with the Service Canada passport website thinking that would give me a real time status of where my passport is.
Boy was I wrong!
Instead there is a form to fill out, and someone will respond in three days. Currently Passport Canada has revised that to read “3 or more days”. But when I originally filled out the form in August, it said 3 days to receive a response.
About two weeks later I finally phoned the toll free number, and couldn’t get through because the lines were too busy. Though eventually I did get through on the phone only to find out 150 callers were ahead of me. I stayed on the phone and it wasn’t too bad, about a 45 minute wait to talk to a clerk.
What a waste of time. The clerk said my passport renewal was still “under review” and she couldn’t make a guess when I might receive it. She said they were currently processing passports for people who applied in person in March and April.
I was hopeful that I would receive my passport by mid-September so I could still drive to Oregon. Yeah hope springs eternal.
Year coming to a close without a passport
In mid-November one of my coworkers took a phone call and then jumped up and said her daughter’s passport had just arrived. She’d also applied in person in May. And here I am still waiting to receive my passport, but maybe this means I’m getting close.
At the beginning of December I decide to try again to find out the status of my passport.
I go back to the website to fill out the form again, but I’m stopped in my tracks with a dire warning from Passport Canada:
Seeing as how it’s been four months and I still haven’t had a response from the first time I filled out the form, I’m not sure how filling it out again could possibly cause more delays! Ha ha!
But just in case…
I phone in again. The recording tells me there are 223 callers ahead of me LOL! The Passport Canada recording updates every minute with how many callers are ahead, and this time the numbers went down pretty quickly. It took about 20 minutes for my call to get picked up. I guess they hired more staff since August.
I gave the clerk my information. He asks to put me on hold.
Uh oh. That can’t be good.
He comes back a minute or so later and tells me I should receive my passport by the end of the year and apologizes for the delay saying he knows I’ve been waiting a really long time.
My Canadian passport saga
I really hope my Canadian passport saga will soon come to an end.
There are 14 days left in 2022.
Raise your hand if you think I’ll receive my passport before December 31.
Notice I’m not raising mine…
January 13, 2023 update
It’s disappointing but no big surprise that Passport Canada lied to me and my passport didn’t arrive by the end of 2022.
It’s been over 7 months since I put in my passport renewal application!
This is unacceptable for a country like Canada that considers itself to be a modern world country.
I phoned again on January 13, 2023 to find out where the hell my passport is. Only to be told it’s still under review! The usual answer of the big backlog of passports to be processed.
I mean this is bullshit. People who applied in person after I did, last summer, have been receiving their passports.
The clerk I spoke to suggested I request my application be transferred to the Surrey Passport Canada office to be expedited. I agreed to try that.
The clerk also said there is no guarantee the transfer request will be accepted. I keep cancelling my vacation due to no passport. I said I’m traveling in May. Hopefully. If that damn passport shows up! The clerk put in my travel plans are in May and I might be charged $45 for expediting my request to receive my passport by the end of April!
Can you believe that? A year later will be “expediting” my request. She also said sometimes they waive that $45 fee if the application is over 17 weeks. Like mine is.
But no guarantee that $45 will be waived and no guarantee of a transfer and expediting my passport.
January 19, 2023 update
Just checked my credit card statement online and I confirm that Passport Canada has charged me $45 to “expedite” my passport. Nice of them to do that when I’ve only been waiting 8 months to get my passport renewal done.
My passport saga continues…
January 25, 2023 update
It took 8 months but my passport arrived today!
It really bugs me that I had to pay $45 to “expedite” my passport. I might have been willing to pay that last August just so I could take my September vacation in Oregon.
What a cash cow! I mean really. Shame on the Canadian government and Passport Canada for not providing basic services in a timely manner to its citizens.
My passport saga has ended.
Published by Cheryl @ The Lifestyle Digs on December 17, 2022 and last updated January 25, 2023.