Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Unable to renew a passport online in Canada

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It is still impossible to renew a passport over the Internet in Canada. (Archive photo)

  • Stéphane Bordeleau (View profile)Stéphane Bordeleau

Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

In May 2023, during the launch of the new passport, the Minister of Immigration at the time, Sean Fraser, announced that Canadians would be able, from fall 2023, to renew their passport directly on the Government of Canada website. .

According to Minister Fraser, a new application was to allow passport holders to complete online all the documents necessary for renewing the document, upload their new passport photo and pay the fees directly on the Government of Canada website.

However, almost a year later, it is still impossible to renew a passport over the Internet in Canada. Why?

We asked the question at the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, where we were told that the launch of the online renewal platform had to be postponed because assessments of the system detected vulnerabilities which must be corrected and secured.

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The ministry assures, however, that the project is still on track and that its launch will be announced as soon as the platform is deemed reliable and secure. An essential precaution at a time when government websites are regularly the target of attacks and intrusion attempts carried out by criminal groups or foreign powers.

In the office of the current Minister of Immigration, Marc Miller, we had nothing to add to this information.

The online application that Ottawa prepares must be used to renew passports already issued and not to make an official passport application. Passport renewal for children under 18 would also not be possible online.

The online passport renewal is part of an investment of $827 million over five years announced in 2021 by the Trudeau government to modernize the entire digital platform of Immigration services, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

This tool will help us better manage fluctuating application volumes and ease pressure on front-line staff, thereby improving client access to passport services.

A quote from Matthew Krupovich, Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

In a press release published in July 2023 by Public Services and Procurement Canada, we learned that two contracts with a combined value of $85.4 million were awarded to Salesforce Canada Corporation ($10.5 million) and Accenture Inc. ( $74.9M) for the development of a new customer experience platform for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) services.

Contracts that include extension options of up to 5 years for Accenture and up to 15 years for Salesforce.

Salesforce Canada Corporation and Accenture Inc. will help IRCC design, implement and maintain the new platform, it is explained.

According to Public Services and Procurement Canada, work was scheduled to begin in the summer of 2023 and an initial limited implementation of the system was planned starting in fall 2023 with a subgroup of customers.

Minister Sean Fraser was perhaps a little too optimistic when he met the media last May. He then declared that Canadians would be able to renew their passport from the comfort of their homes as early as fall 2023.

No official online date of new passport renewal system had not been communicated to us at the time of writing.

Canadians will have to continue, until further notice, to renew their passport by mail or in person at Services Canada offices.

The federal government is just emerging from a major crisis which revealed significant shortcomings in the passport issuing service in spring 2022, when health restrictions due to COVID-19 were lifted.

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The passport crisis affected thousands of Canadians in 2022, when COVID-19 travel restrictions have been lifted.

For weeks, thousands of Canadians have had to queue for hours, even days, at Service Canada offices to renew or obtain a passport.

A crisis that Canada's chief public servant, Janice Charette, had attributed to aging IT infrastructure and an urgent need to improve digital skills across the public service and the siloing between the various government organizations.

  • Stéphane Bordeleau (View profile)Stéphane BordeleauFollow

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