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Impact of the Federal Employee Strike on Canadian Immigration

Updated: Jun 2, 2023


As a leading immigration consultancy firm in Vancouver, Ansari Immigration is committed to keeping you informed about the latest developments in Canadian immigration. Recently, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) began a strike that has become one of the largest in Canadian history. This strike has significant implications for those applying to immigrate to Canada. In this blog post, we will discuss the impact of the strike on the immigration process and provide guidance on how to proceed during this uncertain time.

IRCC Processing Delays and Prioritization

During the strike, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will have limited capacity to process applications. This means that there will be delays in processing, even for applications that are currently being prioritized. The length of these delays will depend on the nature of the labor disruption. IRCC agents in international offices will continue to work on processing applications, with a priority on emergency situations where a person's life may be threatened.

Extending Work and Study Permits

If your work or study permit is about to expire, you can apply online to extend your stay in Canada during the strike. To maintain your status and remain in Canada until a decision is made on your application, you must meet certain conditions, such as submitting a complete application with biometrics, fees, and other applicable requirements before your temporary residence status expires.

Applying for Immigration During the Strike

It is still possible to apply for immigration during the strike, either online or by mailing an application to IRCC. However, there will be processing delays. Additionally, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) warns that there will be delays or disruptions in the collection of biometrics, which are required for many types of applications. Applications without biometrics may be rejected when IRCC resumes normal service levels.

Settlement Services, Citizenship Ceremonies, and In-Person Appointments

Settlement services offered by non-governmental organizations will still be available, as will healthcare through the Interim Federal Health Program and visa application centers outside of Canada. Citizenship events scheduled during the strike will be rescheduled, and some urgent applications may still be processed. Clients with immigration-related appointments in Canada will be contacted to re-schedule or cancel appointments, while overseas interviews will proceed as scheduled, unless otherwise advised by IRCC.

Contacting IRCC and Accessing Online Services

During the strike, the IRCC Client Support Centre will experience service delays, leading to longer response times. This also applies to the IRCC webform, and social media inquiries will not be answered. However, you can still access online self-serve tools for application status tracking for various types of applications.

Impact on Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) and Passport Services

The strike will cause disruptions to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, leading to delays in reviewing Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs). Service Canada will only process domestic passport applications for emergency and humanitarian situations during the strike, with passport services available only at specialized passport sites.

Understanding the Strike

The strike is centered around fair wages, a better work-life balance, more workplace inclusivity, and reduced layoffs through the creation of more jobs. Union members are also seeking to continue remote work, which became widespread during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, they are seeking a wage increase that better reflects the high cost of living in Canada.

As the federal employee strike continues, it's crucial to stay informed about the potential impact on your immigration process. Ansari Immigration is dedicated to providing you with the latest updates and guidance during this challenging time. If you have any questions or concerns about your immigration application, please do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced professionals. We are here to help you navigate the complexities of the Canadian immigration system and ensure a smooth transition during this period of uncertainty.

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