Postal service

A man unable to leave Canada after his passport was lost by the national postal service

A Canadian is unable to leave the country after the country’s main postal carrier, Canada Post, allegedly ends up depositing his passport with the wrong person.

Fibin Joseph had moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia from India in 2019 to attend university. He had planned to return to his home country in January 2022 to visit friends and family.

The trip was originally booked for 2020 but had to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In anticipation of the trip, Joseph had posted his Indian passport to the Canadian capital, Ottawa, to have it stamped with a temporary resident visa, allowing him to travel back and forth between the two countries.

Joseph – who paid extra to have his passport forwarded – saw that the document had been delivered and then left Ottawa safely. Tracking information eventually indicated he had arrived home, but when Joseph checked his mailbox, the passport was nowhere to be found.

“I started freaking out because it was my passport,” Joseph told CBC News in an interview. “If it was any other document, it’s not that important. A passport is every person’s primary identity. Losing it in a foreign country? It’s every immigrant’s nightmare.”

A man is stranded in Canada after Canada Post allegedly lost his passport in the mail. Here we can see a Canada Post office in Ottawa.
Michel County/Getty

Tracking information indicated that not only had Canada Post dropped off the passport without collecting Joseph’s signature, but the carrier had also sent it to the wrong city.

This caused Joseph to go door to door looking for his passport, but he was unable to locate it.

If the document does not turn up, Joseph will have to go through a number of steps to obtain a new passport. This includes canceling his old passport, getting a letter from Canada Post confirming they lost it, and then asking the Indian government to get a new one.

In addition, Joseph would have to pay $600 CAD, and once he received it, he would have to send it to Ottawa once again to obtain a visa.

However, he was adamant that he would no longer use Canada Post to mail documents. “I won’t send it through Canada Post anymore. I’ll send it through Purolator, FedEx or any other shipping. I don’t trust Canada Post anymore,” Joseph said.

Beyond that, the total time it would take to complete this process would likely be eight weeks – meaning Joseph would miss his return trip. It also means he would probably end up losing the CA$2,000 he spent on plane tickets.

Joseph works as a cook at Swiss Chalet, one of Canada’s iconic fast food restaurants, according to the CBC. The accident forced him to miss work, which cost him valuable paychecks.

As Canada’s national postal carrier, Canada Post is responsible for much of the country’s supply chain. The company delivered 389 million packages in 2020, according to Statista.

“Our teams conducted an exhaustive search to locate the envelope, and our customer service and local operations remained in contact with the customer,” Canada Post said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we cannot confirm the whereabouts of the envelope at this time.”