If you have experienced a long wait for a passport, you are far from alone.
As travel opens up around the world, Canadians have flooded Service Canada with requests for passports. The agency has processed nearly 1.3 million passports between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022 — a sharp increase from the roughly 360,000 passports processed over the previous fiscal year.
A Vancouver woman shared a couple of images on Twitter she snapped at a passport office that show a long line snaking around outside of the entrance. She noted that the office didn't even open until 8:30 a.m. and she took the photographs at 7:11 a.m.
The ordeal was so outlandish that "every time they take someone in from the line everyone starts applauding," she added.
For many people, waiting in a long line for several hours is either impossible given their schedule or simply a frustrating inconvenience. Some of these individuals were desperate for an alternative to waiting all day long, which has prompted several individuals to offer to wait on their behalf for a price.
Vancouver residents offer to wait in passport lines for a price
An individual who goes by Rob posted an advertisement on Kijiji that states he will wait in line for up to 24 hours for $35 an hour plus an additional $50 for service after midnight. While his advertisement targets people who are eager to obtain a passport, he notes that his service may be ideal for any long lines that someone doesn't want to wait in.
"This is great for passport renewal and anything else that needs [requires waiting long] hours!"
On Facebook Marketplace, David Thomas writes that he's familiar with the system and will "get you a spot within 1 - 10." He's asking for a flat rate of $250 with no deposit.
Also on Facebook Marketplace, Drea Hodgerea advises you to get a "good night's sleep" to meet her at 8:30 a.m. to get to the front of the line.
"I can begin waiting as soon as 8 p.m. the night before," she writes, adding that a deposit is required. She charges $30 per hour for Downtown Vancouver offices and $40 per hour for other lower mainland offices.
Prices vary from seller to seller
Audrey Steinke is also using Facebook Marketplace to advertise her services. However, she's asking for considerably more than most of the other individuals.
"If you don’t have an appointment to get your passport you need to be lining up at night to get your passport. But if you’re not up for it (understandably so), I will keep your place in the line for you so you can show up at 8:30 am and sleep the night!" she writes.
The local woman is lining up at Sinclair Centre and is asking for $800 (depending desired time of arrival).
Cara Plummer is also offering to wait in passport lines through her business Time Rescue Errands. She writes in a Craigslist post that she "will text/phone you with updates throughout the duration. In the last few minutes, you come and take your spot in the cue!"
Plummer offers these services year-round and has set prices on her website starting as low as $15 an hour.