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Winnipeg mom frustrated with wait times for passports

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Manitoba mom frustrated by long passport waits – May 12, 2022

One Winnipeg mom is looking to travel this year and said she is frustrated with long wait times for passports.

Winnipegger Amanda Asham submitted an application for her son on March 11 and has been waiting for over two months for her son’s documents.

The service standard if you are applying by mail is 20 regular business days.

Service Canada said about 76 per cent of Canadians applying by mail should get their passports within 35 business days.

Asham expressed great frustration when trying to get in contact with someone who could give her answers.

“I put in a request online to find out a status update and again … didn’t hear anything,” she said.

“The line they give you to call, you can’t even get through. I called about 12 to 15 times, and it just said everybody’s busy, call back later. So it’s been a very frustrating process. The hard part is not being able to find answers.”

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Eventually, she was able to speak to the payment department after submitting her daughter’s application a couple of weeks later but she wasn’t able to get the answers she was looking for.

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She said she was told that her son’s passport had been scanned, but that it hadn’t been examined yet and the office couldn’t tell her when it would arrive.

Asham had planned to take her son to the United States to look at hockey schools back in April. She said it’s getting down to crunch time.

“The schools are trying to be understanding but they need to make decisions,” she said. “They have other players that they’re looking at.”

The schools are a big financial investment for the family. Asham said her family would like to be able to check out the schools and the programs in person before settling on the decision.

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Restrictions have been lifted and some people are getting that travel bug. Service Canada told Global News it is seeing a dramatic spike in passport applications.

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Roughly 363,000 passports were issued from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, and that number jumped to more than 1.2 million from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022. Service Canada estimates that in March and April of this year alone, it received 500,000 applications.

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