Getting your passport renewed seems to be quite the task right now!
The federal government created a simplified process for Canadian passport renewals and applications – although the lengthy and ongoing hold-up suggests things haven’t been nearly as simple as planned.
With Canadian airport wait times reaching ridiculous heights, so much that Transport Canada has eliminated random COVID-19 testing at the Montreal airport, it seems as if anything travel-related has become a headache.
Luckily, if you're hoping to renew or apply for a Canadian passport, there are a few things you can do that can speed up the process.
Travel expert and CEO of Next Vacay, Naveen Dittakavi shared a handful of tips and tricks to make applying for a passport a bit easier during these hectic times.
When it comes to planning your next vacay, knowing whether or not your passport is even valid is the first step to a successful travel journey. Naveen shared that it's best to always check your passport to see when it was issued.
"After travel took a pause for many holidaymakers during the pandemic, plenty of passports need to be renewed. To beat any disappointments for your summer vacations, you’ll want to make sure that it has been no more than ten years since your passport was issued," Dittakavi said.
"You also need a minimum of three or six months to gain entry into many destinations, including popular travel spots such as Eygpt, Thailand, and Dubai. It may be worth seeing if you can push your vacation back to a later date if either of these issues applies to your passport, otherwise you may end up losing out on your vacation."
Naveen also recommends not only double-checking your application, but triple-checking it for any mistakes, typos, or errors.
"I’d recommend thoroughly checking your application before you send it off. Many delays are made through typical errors - such as incorrect photos or typos - which can worsen your chances of receiving a passport in time for a summer trip.”
Going digital is yet another time-saver, as filling out and mailing in physical applications can make things take longer than expected.
“There are many variables that go into how long it will take to get your passport renewed- from a first-time passport to a child's renewal. When it comes to the method of how you apply, digital applications generally take a shorter amount of time as parts of the application are less likely to get lost, plus the online process will be more efficient. Keep this in mind if you don’t want to end up stuck in the backlog," Naveen stated.
Lastly, if you need to make an appointment, handling things in person is always more time-efficient than over the phone.
Plus, you won't need to scream "SPEAK TO A REPRESENTATIVE" to that automated message when you've got a real-life person in front of ya, especially for more time-sensitive matters.
“With the current demand for travel in recent months, even the fast-track services for a passport renewal are becoming overwhelmed so there is no quick fix to receiving your passport on time," Naveen said.
"However, if you are travelling for urgent family matters - such as a funeral - you may be able to expedite the process. Alternatively, look to book an appointment to one of the various passport centers across the country - that way you can speed up the process in person and have someone on hand should there be any errors.”
While there is truly no perfect formula for getting your passport as fast as you might like, following some of these necessary tips will make the process a smidge easier.
Best of luck and may the passport application odds be ever in your favour!
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.