You are currently viewing Huge passport wait times spawn the ‘independent line-holder’ industry

Huge passport wait times spawn the ‘independent line-holder’ industry

The long lines outside the Service Canada office across the province create opportunities for some people to earn extra money on top of that.

If you are looking for a side hustle that is flexible and with minimal workload, Passport Line Holder could be the job for you.

The catch is that you have to stay outside for hours, rain or shine.

the Richmond News previously reported long queues of would-be travelers waiting outside the Richmond Passport Office until five o’clock. Some had to take the day off to be there. And last week, a woman waited four hours to be told to come back another day because her trip was not considered urgent.

But what is a huge frustration for some is a financial opportunity for others.

Ads and posts for “online freelancers” have popped up on Facebook Marketplace and websites such as Kijiji and Craigslist.

For a flat rate of $50 an hour, Martin, a Richmond-based lineman who lives next door to the Service Canada office in Richmond, posts online that he’s more than happy to arrive early and to offer any traveler a place among the first 10 places. .

As a result, you can “get a great night’s sleep and feel frontline fresh,” reads its ad.

Rob Huang, who describes himself on Kijiji as “someone who can show up at any time and is willing to stand in line at any passport office,” told The News his stampede was much in demand recently.

For his first client, Huang showed up at the Vancouver passport office in the early hours of the morning.

“The first client I helped wasn’t sure how long the waiting list would be, so he asked me to go at 2 a.m. I waited until 10 or 11 morning hours,” Huang said.

But it paid off, he noted.

“I made around $400 easily,” Huang said, adding that while it’s not a steady job, it’s ideal for a part-time student like him.

For anyone considering joining the passport holder business, Huang has some advice: bring snacks, water, and extra portable chargers and tablets.

The hardest part is waiting outside, Huang said. Once in the Service Canada building, everything becomes easier, he explained.

“You can put your things down and go to the bathroom and come back.”

The News contacted Service Canada for further comment, but received no response.

The Service Canada website suggests travelers who don’t have travel plans within the next two weeks call them instead.

“We are currently experiencing very high call volumes. Wait times are longer than usual. If you have no travel plans within the next 2 weeks, we suggest you wait to call us,” the website reads.

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