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

  • Hamas says deal reached with Israel to restore calm in Gaza

    World News CBC News
    Hamas said on Saturday it had agreed to a truce with Israel in the Gaza Strip, a day after clashes killed an Israeli soldier and four Palestinians along the volatile border. The Israeli military declined to comment on the reported ceasefire. Source
  • Fraud case charges stayed because of judge shortage in Ontario Superior Court

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Five men accused in an alleged multimillion-dollar fraud scheme have had all charges against them stayed because of a shortage of judges in Ontario's Superior Court of Justice. Earlier this year, a judge attempting to set a trial date for the five accused said they could not come before the courts until at least January 2019. Source
  • Newly released video from Brazil shows man believed to be last of tribe

    World News CTV News
    SAO PAULO -- No one knows his name. No one knows the name of the people he came from. And he appears to have lived alone in Brazil's Amazon for 22 years. Video released for this first time this week by Brazil's Indian Foundation shows rare images of a so-called uncontacted indigenous man who is believed to be the last surviving member of his tribe. Source
  • Man charged with attempted murder of 5-year-old makes court appearance

    Canada News CTV News
    The 28-year-old man charged with the attempted murder of a 5-year-old Brampton, Ont. boy appeared in court on Friday. Dyon Smart has been remanded in custody and will make his next court appearance on July 25. Source
  • 'The Jay Z of St.-T': Rapper runs for mayor in St. Thomas, Ont.

    Canada News CTV News
    Three years ago, rap artist Malichi Male was driving to a gig in London, Ont. when he got lost. Male took a wrong turn and ended up in St. Thomas, a quiet community about 27 kilometres south of his destination. Source
  • MGM turns to never-tested law to sue Vegas shooting victims

    World News CTV News
    LAS VEGAS -- The unprecedented move from MGM Resorts International to sue hundreds of victims of last year's mass shooting in Las Vegas using an obscure U.S. law never tested in court has been framed by the casino-operator as an effort to avoid years of costly litigation -- but the legal manoeuvr may not play out that way. Source
  • 4-year-old boy shoots, kills 2-year-old cousin in California: police

    World News CTV News
    SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old cousin at a home in Southern California. San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman says the shooting occurred Friday morning in the Muscoy area, east of Los Angeles. Source
  • Technical and stage workers locked out at Toronto's Exhibition Place

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Workers who provide technical and staging expertise for events in major venues at Toronto's Exhibition Place have been locked out. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 58 says the lockout comes after months of negotiations for a new collective agreement. Source
  • Woman 'livid' after Air Canada allegedly failed to put mother’s remains on connecting flight

    Canada News CTV News
    A Brampton, Ont. woman says her mother’s remains spent days in an unrefrigerated Miami warehouse after Air Canada allegedly failed to transfer them to a connecting flight on time. “I’m livid,” Dion De Freitas told CTV Toronto. Source
  • U.S. making 'great progress' reuniting migrant families: judge

    World News CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- A federal judge says the Trump administration is making "great progress" toward meeting a Thursday deadline to reunite more than 2,500 children with their families after they were separated at the border. Source