Priority is being given at some passport offices to Canadians traveling in the next 24 to 48 hours.
The move comes amid widespread reports of long lines and growing frustration with passport processing delays, which have forced Canadians to miss flights, cancel trips and even overnight to secure their travel documents. Have seen outside camp.
“First come, first served,” Ferdinand Pollak told CTV News from a rising line in Montreal for those departing in the next 24 hours. “Now they change their mind, they go by departure times and dates.”
On a federal government website, it says “We have new measures in place to help manage wait times at passport offices in Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Montreal and Vancouver. We will deliver those within 48 hours.” We will give priority to those who need a passport. We will make arrangements for service at other locations for people with long-term travel plans.”
Despite being prioritized, others are uncertain in Montreal, which faces some of the longest waits in the country.
“We travel tomorrow at 9:30, so we don’t know if we’ll have a passport on time,” Dekra Boisi told CTV News from a line of camping chairs.
With work lost and childcare scrambling, expensive flights are at stake. Others are desperately trying to see their loved ones before it’s too late.
“We really need to move to my homeland in South America, because my dad is disappearing, he’s disappearing fast,” Ludwig Perea Melendez told CTV New from London, Ont.
His wife and five children camped in the family van, which was first in line on Monday morning after being driven away last week.
“Our kids slept there like sardines,” said Perea Melendez.
In Fredericton, Richard Cagioa told CTV News that he had walked too long, or about 2,000 km, in hopes of getting a passport.
“I flew from Iqaluit, Nunavut because my son’s passport hasn’t arrived yet from two months ago or three, almost three,” he said in a row.
On Monday, the federal government announced the creation of a new task force to help deal with major delays with immigration applications and passport processing.