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What do I need to make a passport? Here is a step by step guide

If you applied for a passport this year, or if you put it off because you waited in line outside the Canadian passport office for hours — Why all of a sudden You may have wondered. Those little blue books are hard to come by.

The federal government blames the surge in passport applications. At the same time, health restrictions related to the pandemic reduced staff availability at service centers and processing facilities by up to 70% by May. This year's.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) told CBC News that the backlog has nothing to do with the actual production of passports. Passport production is kept secret to prevent forgery and fraud.

According to Service Canada, cameras are not permitted behind counters in offices where passport applications are processed or in privately owned establishments where passports are processed. He also turned down an interview request from CBC News without giving a reason.

However,   the two agencies that oversee most of the work are in charge of organizing passport travel in Canada, from the moment you apply until you receive your new travel documents. provided useful information.

On June 22, people lined up outside the Service Canada office in Vancouver to apply for Canadian passports. We are camping overnight. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Application Stage

In the first step,New Child or Adult Passport or Passport Renewal Form25}. Canadians may mail a completed application or apply in person at aPassport OfficeorService Canada Center, depending on how long it takes before a passport is required. I can do it.

Managers at the Passport Office and Services Canada Center "triage" people in line, sometimes waiting in line for hours before being turned down. The agency does not keep track of how many clients have been turned down.

Travel within 2-45 business days:

For those planning to travel within 45 business days of application,35 passport offices You must visit one of to travel across Canada and present your travel document.

It may take up to 2 weeks plus mailing time to receive your new passport if you take this route, butif you are travelingUrgent and Express Pickup Optionis available sooner and at an additional cost.

Travel after 45 business days:

If your travel date is farther than that, contact one of the 307 Service Canada centersin thecountry. I need to go somewhere. }  can process passport documents and mail applications. On Wednesday, Social Development Minister Karina Gould said the governmentplanned to add passport processingat more Service Canada centers in the coming weeks.

Given current demand, it may take up to 13 weeks plus mailing time to receive your passport if you applied through a Service Canada Center or by mail. However, some Canadians have complained of waitingmonths in a state of confusion,and their applications have not been updated.

Since pandemic measures began to be lifted, travelers have faced challenges ranging from obtaining new passports, to waiting in long lines at airport security, to waiting for flights. From cancellation to loss, we face many problems. load. Here, passengers line up at Toronto's Pearson Airport on May 4th. (Jonathan Castell/CBC)

If you apply in person, the agent behind the counter checks your documents and doesn't miss anything. 

Services Canada states that applying by mail "reduces processing efficiency by approximately 40%." Additionally, once important documents such as birth certificates are sent, you never know when the government will send them back.

It is not known when Canadians will be able to apply online without waiting in line. The government has awarded IBM a contract to develop a digital application process in 2020. IRCC says a pilot project is underway.

Screening and Security Checks

Once an application has been received, staff will analyze the applicant's passport eligibilityand verify that personal information is complete. We confirm, verify the photos and ensure that the documents provided are genuine. 

If anything is missing, you can either contact the client and provide those details or documents, or send the documents back and restart the application process.

According to Service Canada, the most common errors with applications are

  • related to past address information.
  • Past occupations.
  • Guarantor and Reference.
  • Identification.
According to Service Canada, the most common errors in passport applications are past addresses and occupations, the applicant's sponsor or reference, It relates to information about identification documents. (Illustration: CBC, Source: Government of Canada)

Next comes security checks, many of which are shrouded in secrecy. 

Personnel will check the applicant's information against the database. This includes something called System Lookout.A special list to which a child can be added if the parent determines that another adult may add the child. Apply for a passport on behalf of a child and risk being kidnapped. The officer will also conduct a risk assessment of the applicant and look for possible red flags.

The Passport Program also works with intelligence agencies, law enforcement, federal justice, the Department of Corrections, the Border Agency, and INTERPOL. However, it is not clear what information is exchanged with these organizations when Canadians apply for passports.

If security or fraud concerns are raised, the application will proceed to a second level of review by the IRCC's Passport Program Integrity Specialists.

Service Canada and Passport Office staff can detect fraudulent documents and other fraudulent activity when assisting with passport applications are trained to Here, people line up to enter Service Canada's offices in Oshawa, Ontario, on May 30th. (Doug Ives/The Canadian Press)

According to the IRCC, how complex an individual's application is, whether there are gaps or "weirdnesses" in the information, and whether the passport program depends on your ability to corroborate information or resolve concerns.

Once the passport application is approved, or 'entitled' as the passport office calls it, the manufacturing process is ready.

Passport Creation

The federal government does not actually create blue passport books. The work is outsourced to the Canadian Bank Note Company, which also prints Canadian banknotes. (Bank of Canada notes did not respond to a request for comment.)

The Ottawa-based company produces blank passports in undisclosed locations. The Government Passport Program is responsible for printing a photo page containing your biographical information,and encoding your photo and information into the chip embedded in your passport at its own printing site. .

The Canadian Bank Note Company produced the blank passports shown at left, and the Government Passport Program printed and possessed the photo pages. is responsible for encrypting users. Photos and information on chips embedded in books. (CBC)

Other security features include holographic images on photo pages and hidden ink that is only revealed under UV illumination.

The government does not disclose how long it takes to produce each passport or how much of the passport fee goes to manufacturing costs.

Butyou can see what the passport printing process looks like in these behind-the-scenes videos released by the UK Home Office and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Further checks before delivery

After each passport is printed, to ensure that the information in the book is accurate and that the tip works , a quality assurance check is performed. The book is then ready to be shipped.

If you mail your application, your passport will be returned to you. You can pick up your passport if you apply in person — for an additional $20 fee — or you can pick it up in the mail. If Service Canada fails to return your passport within the promised time period, we will waive the pickup fee.

People line up at a passport office in Montreal on June 22nd. The federal government says it will announce additional passport processing options at Service Canada centers. in the coming weeks.(Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

According to Service Canada, hundreds of staff have been hired over the past year to speed up the process, including This includes employees whose job it is to open and scan emails. applications, and more officers handling those applications.

The company expects the Passport backlog to be "significantly reduced" by the end of the summer, leading to "lower and more sustainable inventories" heading into 2023. Expiring next year — 2.8 million, compared to 1. This year he will expire 3 million as his first 10-year passport issued in 2013 will expire.