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How long does it take to get a Canadian passport in Metro Vancouver?

There is also a new Canadian passport design that includes enhanced security features and artwork.
While you won't face the same long waits to get a new Canada passport, there are busier times of the week to visit.

Vancouverites don't face long waits to get a Canadian passport now. 

While the pandemic saw historic waits for people looking to get a new passport, wait times have dramatically improved.

Over the pandemic, locals expressed waiting in lines for upwards of 11 hours and then getting turned away, while others camped outside of Service Canada locations overnight. One woman flew to Edmonton to get her passport faster.

Many people continued to experience long waits at the start of the new year, with one woman reporting a seven-hour wait for her passport. 

But wait times and the overall experience in Service Canada centres continues to improve.

Passport offices across the Lower Mainland in Vancouver, Richmond, and Surrey are experiencing waits around one to two-and-a-half hours. Also, those offices have been meeting the 10-business day plus mailing time service standard, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) told V.I.A. 

Passport wait times vary during the week

When experiencing high client volumes, sites have managed line-ups with quick intake methods after opening. 

"The current Passport wait times in the Vancouver area are in line with similar periods from previous years, reflecting the Passport Program’s winter peak season," said ESDC. 

"Increased demand during seasonal peaks may sometimes result in lineups for in-person service."

As of Nov.30, Canada has issued 2,796,725 passports from 2,947,417 applicants, based on passport program statistics. 

For the week of Dec. 4, 96 per cent of passports were delivered within the 10- and 20-day service standards; there are no longer any backlogs from the pandemic. 

Wait times vary depending on the office, day of the week, and time of day. They are updated three times daily for every office and can be found on the ESDC website.

When calling from Canada or the U.S. to speak to a passport call centre agent, the average waiting time is 9 minutes and 51 seconds.

While renewal applications are arriving for passports expiring after 10-year validity, volumes continue to be in line with forecasts.

When can I get a passport with the new design?

People who want a travel document with the new Canadian passport design may want to wait a few months. 

Canada unveiled the new look in May but they will not issue passports with it until the spring of 2024.

The new passport has enhanced security features that help prevent fraud and confirm the document's validity. It also celebrates Canada's heritage and identity with new artwork, showcasing the country's natural beauty through the four seasons.

The new cover design features the outline of a maple leaf, which is the first "significant change" to the passport in decades, according to the government.

Some of the new security features include: 

  • multiple versions of your photo
  • different colours of metallic foil maple leaves on the covers
  • a debossed maple leaf on the back
  • a red maple leaf on your personal information page that disappears if you heat it by rubbing it with your finger
  • a visible chip and antenna
  • magnetized colour-shifting ink in the shape of a deer and snowflake
Travel documents with the new Canadian passport design will be issued in the new year. Photo via Government of Canada

During the month of November, 90 per cent of people that applied in-person at a Service Canada Centre or Passport Office (10-business day service standard), received their passport in nine business days, while 90 per cent of them that applied at a Service Canada Centre or by mail (20-business day service standard), received their passport within 15 business days.  

Service Canada continues to encourage Canadians to take advantage of the service options that are most convenient to them. It also has a website that allows you to check on wait times before visiting a passport office.