People line up at midnight outside Mississauga passport office


Published May 12, 2022 at 12:01 pm

People line up at midnight outside Mississauga passport office

The huge lineup outside Mississauga’s lone passport office started forming around midnight last night as thousands of people in the last month or so continue to scramble to update their travel documents.

Some six weeks after COVID-19 air travel restrictions were lifted, hundreds of people continue to line up daily at the Mississauga Service Canada Centre (Passports) location at Central Parkway Mall, on Burnhamthorpe Rd. E.

The lineups still wrap around the entire mall on most days, shoppers say, and the lines are forming earlier and earlier–anywhere from 4 to 6 a.m. a week ago to midnight last night.

Passport offices in the GTA–one in Toronto and another in Brampton in addition to the Mississauga location–have been caught off guard by the huge and continuing demand for new passports and/or passport renewals.

One man in line at the Mississauga office today described the situation as “ridiculous” and added: “Everything is disorganized.”

An employee at Baskin-Robbins, which is located near the passport office inside the mall, told that huge lineups have been a daily thing for weeks.

The lineups at the Mississauga location and other passport offices in the GTA began immediately after the Canadian government lifted COVID-19 air travel restrictions on April 1.

Some 1.2 million passports have now been reportedly processed in the last year, up one million from the previous year as people prepare to travel once again outside of Canada.

The lineups and delays continue due to both a surge in demand for passports as more people are once again comfortable with travelling, especially with summer nearly here, and to a shortage of staff at Service Canada.

Service Canada has reportedly hired some 500 staffers to help deal with the continued surge in demand.

Ottawa says that with the easing of travel restrictions, the demand for passports—both new and renewals—has increased and is returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Additionally, the federal government has simplified the passport renewal process, which has prompted many people to update their documents.

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