Strike impacted citizenship, immigration services
he strike is now over. Canada’s Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the bargaining agent representing many federal government service workers, has reached an agreement to settle a strike involving more than 159,000 of their members. These workers provide a wide range of services, including those under the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Consequently, some services were delayed or not delivered at all. As well, certain physical locations where IRCC services are delivered in Canada had access to the public restricted.
Visa Application Centre (VAC) offices and overseas locations from where IRCC services are accessed or delivered were unaffected. In-person interviews outside Canada were also unaffected.
Some IRCC services remained available during the labour disruption. The public can still:
- Submit applications online;
- Mail applications to IRCC processing centres and designated locations;
- Access personal online accounts;
- Access some emergency services;
- Access self-serve, online tools for application tracking.
Most IRCC services are back to normal. There may still be delays in processing services, citizenship events, issuance of documents such as passports and permanent resident cards, and responses to queries, including ATIP requests.
- Client Support Centre and Social Media
- The IRCC client support centre, accessed by telephone, is also affected, causing longer response times for those calling in. Queries through social media are also affected; these will not be answered.
- Web Forms
- Response times for web forms submitted online are getting back to normal.
- If you are in Canada
- If you wish to extend your stay in Canada, such applications must be complete, submitted online, and within IRCC regulations. “Maintained status” is achieved only when an application is submitted per prescribed rules.
- IRCC in-Canada appointments
- Requests from IRCC for in-person interviews may take longer as business returns to normal Scheduled hearings at the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) are expected to remain on the scheduled date, although attendees may experience delays in starting times on those dates.
- Prioritized Services
- Immigration Services, including certain applications that were previously prioritized were affected by the PSAC labour action. Delays in processing should be diminishing.