OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - Plans to expand passport services and make them more convenient and efficient were announced today by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney and Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley.
Effective July 2, primary responsibility for Passport Canada will move from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). This sensible move is in line with the duties CIC already performs, such as determining Canadian citizenship.
Canadians will not experience an interruption of services. They will be able to continue accessing passport services through all of the same service locations currently available in Canada through the existing network of 144 Service Canada Centres, 56 Canada Post intake locations, and 34 passport offices across the country. Service Canada will assume responsibility for passport operations, and, over time, services will expand to more Service Canada Centres and Canadians will ultimately even be able to apply for a passport online.
"The government is committed to making passport services more convenient and accessible for Canadians," said Minister Kenney. "As Citizenship and Immigration Canada is already responsible for determining Canadian citizenship, integrating the passport program into the department makes good sense."
"Through Service Canada, we offer single-window access to a wide range of Government of Canada programs and services for citizens," said Minister Finley. "Leveraging Service Canada's resources and service delivery network across the country will make passport services more accessible and convenient."
Passport Canada's IT system is nearing the end of its lifespan and significant investment will be required to bring it up to date whereas CIC's current operating IT system has the capacity and security features for a move to online applications, and also offers Canadian taxpayers a sensible, cost-effective alternative.
It is important to note that Canadians who need consular services while traveling overseas, to replace a lost passport for example, will continue to be supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CitImmCanada.
Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.