Starting today, area residents seeking a passport can have their applications processed at the federal Service Canada office in downtown Prince George.
The Prince George location at 1363 Fourth Ave., can now provide 10-day service for people who need their travel document to cross international borders.
First announced in November, the Prince George office was supposed to open April 25 but the opening was delayed due to the 12-day Public Service Alliance of Canada strike that resulted in 120,0000 workers walking off their jobs on April 19.
That ended when the union signed a tentative deal with the federal government that calls for an 11.5 per cent wage increase over four years.
Federal politicians in northern B.C. have long been advocating for the Prince George office to open to better serve people whose access to passport services for 10-day service previously required a visit to Kelowna or the Lower Mainland.
“The new passport office is great news for the approximately 300,000 people who live in northern BC,” said Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach. “We made our voices heard and worked together to make a difference. I think that’s something we can all be proud of.”
Those who require urgent or express passport pick-up service (by the end of the next business day) will still be required to go to the Vancouver office to obtain their travel document.
Urgent pick-up applicants are required to pay an additional $120 pick-up fee and show proof of travel. Express pick-up applicants have to pay an extra $50 for pick-up within two to nine business days.
The cost of a passport for applicants aged 16 and older is $120 (five-year) or $160 (10-year). For children up to age 15 it costs $57.
If you choose to pick it up in person at the Prince George office, there is an additional $20 cost. Otherwise, it will be mailed at no additional cost.