Passport, slightly torn, a 'ridiculous' bureaucratic nightmare

A British Columbia man says he’s enduring a bureaucratic nightmare that is preventing him from leaving the country – all because of a small tear in his passport.

See Full Article

Grant Smith, of Kelowna, B.C., said he taped the slightly torn passport page and was using the document without any problems until he had to renew it last fall. That’s when he was told that his passport was invalid because of the damage.

Smith was told to apply for a new passport, and he needed to show proof of his Canadian citizenship. But Smith, who was born in England and became a Canadian citizen 50 years ago, had misplaced his citizenship certificate over the years. When he went online to request a copy, a notice on the Customs and Immigration Canada website warned him that could take five months.

Smith said a government representative told him that the process could take as long as two years in some cases.

Smith, who needs to travel for work, said he doesn’t understand why his citizenship and identity can’t be confirmed in the government database. He has a valid Nexus card that is now useless because it’s tied to his passport. He also still has his old, expired passports that show he’s been a Canadian citizen for decades.

"The favourite phrase I've been using lately is ridiculous,” Smith told CTV Vancouver. “I will actually be locked here in Canada unable to travel anywhere."

Citizenship and Immigration Canada told CTV Vancouver that it receives 55,000 requests every year for citizenship replacement certificates. The department said the certificates can be expedited under special circumstances, such as the need to travel in case of family illness or death or, like in Smith’s case, the need to cross the border for work.

The department also confirmed to CTV Vancouver that it has the ability to confirm someone’s citizenship through internal systems and that can be done within 48 hours.

"I don't think the average Canadian has a clue about what can potentially happen if you don't have all the of the documentation on hand when you want to renew an important document like a passport, " Smith said.

With a report from CTV Vancouver



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Russia warns Syrian-Kurdish YPG must pull back or face Turkish army

    World News CBC News
    Russia warned Syrian-Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) forces on Wednesday they face further armed conflict with Turkey if they fail to comply with a Russian-Turkish accord calling for their withdrawal from the entire length of Syria's northeastern border with Turkey. Source
  • Once considered a pest, Alberta's official fish is now under threat

    Canada News CBC News
    For decades bull trout would be removed from a fishing line and left to rot in the sun. Alberta anglers considered the once-abundant fish as unwanted predators, feeding on more favoured trout species such as brook trout and brown trout. Source
  • Boeing quarterly profit drops 53% as Max grounding takes heavy toll

    World News CBC News
    Boeing Co cut production of its flagship Dreamliner and delayed the arrival of a successor to its 777 mini-jumbo, piling new pressures on a rejigged senior management team as the continued safety grounding of its 737 Max sliced third-quarter profits. Source
  • Has the Harry and Meghan photo in the Queen's reception room disappeared?

    World News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A framed photo of Prince Harry and Meghan appears to have been removed from a table in Queen Elizabeth II’s Buckingham Palace reception room, as questions continue to swirl about a possible rift within the Royal Family. Source
  • Body of missing Alabama girl found at a landfill; 2 being charged

    World News CTV News
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Investigators searching through garbage found the body of a 3-year-old girl who was missing more than a week, and authorities are charging two people with murder, police said Tuesday. Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith told a news conference that the remains of Kamille McKinney were located in a trash bin that had been taken to a landfill. Source
  • Google says it has achieved 'quantum supremacy' computing milestone

    World News CBC News
    Google said it has achieved a breakthrough in quantum computing research, saying an experimental quantum processor has completed a calculation in just a few minutes that would take a traditional supercomputer thousands of years. The findings, published Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature, show that "quantum speedup is achievable in a real-world system and is not precluded by any hidden physical laws," the researchers wrote. Source
  • Iraq violated human rights in protest crackdowns that left 149 dead, UN report finds

    World News CBC News
    Iraqi authorities committed serious human rights violations and abuses in their response to a wave of anti-government protests earlier this month that saw 149 civilians killed, the United Nations said. In a report by its Human Rights Office published late on Monday, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said there was evidence security forces had used excessive force against protesters and made mass arrests. Source
  • Indian troops kill 3 senior Kashmiri militants

    World News CTV News
    SRINAGAR, India -- Indian forces have killed a top militant commander and his two associates in a counterinsurgency operation in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said Wednesday. Hamid Lelhari and his associates were killed Tuesday evening in a gunfight that erupted after Indian security forces launched a counterinsurgency operation in southern Awantipora area, said Dilbagh Singh, chief of police in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Source
  • Online name calling between Alberta, N.L. an unexpected post-election fallout 

    Canada News CBC News
    Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador have a lot in common, including a shared economic reliance on oil, but the comments of social media users took on a disturbing twist after Monday night's federal election. In Newfoundland and Labrador, six of the seven seats went to Liberal incumbents; in Alberta, voters chose Conservative candidates in all but one of its 34 ridings, shutting out the Liberals. Source
  • Norway downplays terror fears over injury to toddlers

    World News CTV News
    COPENHAGEN -- Norway's domestic security agency says early investigations into the injury of two toddlers in a stroller on an Oslo sidewalk by a man driving a stolen ambulance "doesn't look like a terrorist incident. Source