As COVID 19 restrictions are lifted, more and more Canadians are looking to travel abroad. In Park Extension, home of many families of diverse ethnic origin, travel during the summer months will become vital. For the years of the pandemic many families could not visit their loved ones in the countries of their origin and at this point, the Government of Canada is modernizing and improving its services to better respond to the changing needs of Canadians.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, on March 31st announced the expansion of the simplified renewal application process for Canadian passports.
Beginning, March 31, Canadians in Canada and abroad can now use the simplified process to renew an expired passport as long as it was issued within the last 15 years. The simplified process is also available to individuals who had their passport lost, stolen or damaged. Previously, the simplified renewal process wasn’t available for passports expired longer than a year or those that were lost, stolen or damaged.
With 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 2 photos, 2 references, their completed form and the applicable fees. These changes make renewing a passport easier, while maintaining the highest level of program integrity.
With the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions, the demand for passports—both new and renewals—has started to increase and is returning to pre-pandemic levels. The Government of Canada recommends that Canadians apply early and not finalize any travel plans until they have received their new passport. Thanks to the simplified process, Canadians without imminent travel plans do not need to rush to renew an expired or soon-to-expire passport.
“As international travel resumes, we need to continue to modernize and improve our passport services to make sure we meet the needs of Canadians. Simplifying the renewal process will make it easier and faster for Canadians to get their passport and is another step toward greater modernization while prioritizing the health and safety of Canadians and our employees.” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship