Canada immigration news: Canada is extending the scope of its simplified passport renewal process, making it easier for citizens to renew passports that expired more than a year ago or were lost, stolen or damaged.
“As international travel resumes, we need to continue to modernize and improve our passport services to make sure we meet the needs of Canadians,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
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“Simplifying the renewal process will make it easier and faster for Canadians to get their passports and is another step toward greater modernization while prioritizing the health and safety of Canadians and our employees.”
Passports That Expired Up To 15 Years Ago Can Be Renewed Visa Simplified Process
Under the current process, the simplified passport renewal process applies only to passports that have expired in the past year.
But the federal government announced Thursday that the simplified process will now apply to passports that have expired within the past 15 years as well as to those that have been lost, stolen or damaged.
Under the simplified renewal process, applicants don’t need to have a guarantor or to provide their original documents, such as proof of citizenship or photo identification. They simply need two photos, two references, their completed forms – and to then pay the applicable fees.
Adults applying for a passport for the first time still need to complete the general application form and are not eligible for the simplified process which is strictly a renewal process.
While Ottawa’s latest move to simplify the passport renewal process was welcomed on social media, some expressed concern that it does not go far enough.
“Eliminate photos (and) put cameras there to photograph as some other countries do,” tweeted one man. “Simplify and cut costs.”
Passport Does Little Good For Unvaccinated Who Can’t Board Trains Or Planes
Others complained that a Canadian passport does little good for those Canadians who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 and who are still prevented by public health restrictions from boarding trains or planes to both domestic and international destinations.
“I can’t travel after clotting from the first shot and I am still not being able to get an exemption for a vaccine passport,” wrote one Twitter user. “My Canadian passport is collecting dust and I can’t even travel in Canada. This is crazy.”
A woman on social media urged Ottawa to drop the need for vaccine passports for Canadians to board planes and trains.
“How about letting all Canadians travel?” she tweeted.
With COVID-19 case counts rising again in some regions as Canadian provinces gradually drop their public health restrictions, though, Ottawa is adamant it must keep some measures in place to ensure public safety.
“Balancing health and safety guidelines with Canadians’ ongoing needs for services has been at the forefront of our efforts since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Karina Gould, minister of families, children and social development.
“As restrictions ease, we will continue working to improve service delivery in order to be more modern and efficient and ultimately to provide the best experience possible for all Canadians.”
The demand for both new and renewed passports in Canada is returning to pre-pandemic levels as COVID-19 restrictions ease and international travel becomes a possibility for those who are vaccinated against the illness.
Ottawa is urging anyone who needs a new or renewed passport to apply early and not finalize any travel plans until they have received their new passport.