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The Impact of the Recent Strike on Canadian Immigration Services

There was a labor disruption between the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Federal Government of Canada. The strike occurred from April 19th to May 1st due to reasons that will not be mentioned here. This interruption caused significant inconvenience and challenges for many individuals and organizations affected by it.


The Strike and Its Causes

Infographic displaying the timeline of the PSAC strike impacting Canadian immigration services, from inception on April 19th to resolution on May 1st.

The strike lasted from April 19th to May 1st, due to union members' desire to recoup inflation-driven wage losses and to enshrine in their contracts the right to work from home. This interruption impacted over 155,000 public servants, including members of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and, consequently, multiple IRCC services.

Canadian Immigration Process: A Brief Overview Before we delve into the specific services affected by the strike, let's review the typical Canadian immigration process. This process includes steps such as :

  1. Identify the Appropriate Immigration Program: Canada has over 80 different immigration programs. These include federal skilled worker programs, provincial nominee programs, family sponsorship programs, and programs for entrepreneurs or investors. Your first step is to identify which one best aligns with your qualifications and goals.

  2. Prepare Your Application: Once you've chosen a program, you need to gather the required documents and complete the application forms. The specific documents required depend on the immigration program but usually include identification, proof of professional skills and work experience, language proficiency test results, and proof of financial resources.

  3. Submit Your Application: After completing the application, you need to pay the processing fee and submit the application. For many programs, this can be done online.

  4. Wait for Application Processing: The processing time varies by program and can range from a few weeks to several months or even longer in some cases. You may be asked for additional documentation or to attend an interview during this time.

  5. Complete Medical and Background Checks: If your application is approved, an approved physician will ask you to complete a medical exam and undergo security and criminal background checks.

  6. Receive Your Visa: If your medical and background checks are successful, you will receive your immigrant visa and Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). You need to have these documents with you when you arrive in Canada.

  7. Arrive in Canada: After arriving in Canada, you will meet with immigration officials who will validate your COPR and officially grant you permanent resident status.

Understanding these steps will help provide context for how the strike could impact your immigration case.

Impact on Specific Services and Potential Delays

The strike has caused potential delays in several IRCC services such as :

Biometrics: Applicants for certain types of visas must provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photo). With the strike causing delays, those unable to submit biometrics within the initial 30-day period are now given a 60-day window. This might affect your visa processing time if you are applying for Visitor visa.

Citizenship Events: These include citizenship ceremonies and tests. If your ceremony or test was postponed due to the strike, you might need to wait longer to officially become a Canadian citizen.

IRCC Customer Service: Longer response times might lead to delays in resolving queries, affecting the progression of your immigration case.

Extensions for Stays in Canada: Delays in processing extensions can affect those on visitor, study, or work visas looking to prolong their stay in Canada.

Immigration-Related Appointments: Cancellations and rescheduling of appointments could potentially affect visa processing times.

Passport Services: If you're a Canadian citizen looking to renew your passport or a new citizen applying for a passport, delays can affect your travel plans.

Application Processing: The strike limited the IRCC's processing capacity, which could lead to longer processing times, affecting all applicants.

Conclusion While the strike may cause some temporary inconvenience, we at Ansari Immigration are here to help you navigate these changes. We're committed to keeping you informed and assisting you throughout your immigration journey. Keep an eye on our blog for future updates, and don't hesitate to reach out to us for help with your immigration needs.

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