Global Alerts

Canada: Canadian Public Workers on Strike-Immigration Impacted

The Public Service Alliance of Canada declared a general strike beginning Wednesday, April 19th. As a result, bargaining groups representing 159,000 public servants are on strike.

During this labor disruption, certain services may be delayed or not delivered at all. The public may also have trouble accessing some Government of Canada buildings where services are delivered.

The following IRCC services will remain available during the labor disruption:

  • apply online
  • mail applications to IRCC
  • use your online accounts
  • access some emergency services

Additionally, these services offered by non-governmental organizations are still available:

  • settlement services from IRCC’s partner organizations
  • health care through the Interim Federal Health Program
  • visa application centers outside of Canada

Services partially or fully disrupted

Most IRCC services are impacted, and individuals should expect delays with the following:

  • Access to Information Act requests-
    • longer processing times for Access to Information Act requests.
  • Citizenship events-
    • Citizenship events will be rescheduled. Some urgent applications may still be processed.
  • Consular citizenship and passport services-
    • individuals may experience delays with citizenship or passport services outside Canada. however, users can still access passport applications and submitted documents.
    • Contacting IRCC
      • Contacting IRCC-
        • Client Support Centre response times
        • IRCC web form response times
          • You should expect longer response times when using the IRCC web form.
          • IRCC also offers online self-serve tools for application status tracking that are still available online. This includes
            • Citizenship grant
            • Permanent resident family class
            • express entry
            • study permit
            • temporary resident visa
    •  Social media
  • Extending your stay in Canada
    • You can apply online to extend your stay in Canada during the Government of Canada labor disruption. You must meet the following conditions to maintain your status and remain in Canada until a decision is made on your application:
      • Your extension application must be submitted online (unless you are exempt)
      • The application must be completed by including
        • biometrics
        • fees
        • other applicable requirements
    • You must submit your application before your temporary residence status expires
  •  Grants and contributions services
    • We will respond to urgent requests from funded recipients, but please expect delays with our response times. Funded recipients will still receive their first advance payment for 2023–2024.
  • Immigration-Related appointments
    • In-person appointments may be rescheduled
    • If you’re in Canada
      • Clients with immigration-related appointments in Canada will be contacted to reschedule or cancel appointments.
    • If you’re outside Canada
      • Clients with immigration-related appointments in Canada will be contacted to reschedule or cancel appointments.
  • Passport services
    • During the current labor disruption, essential government services that continue to be delivered are the result of an agreement between the employer and the union. Most domestic passport services are currently not available. Delays should be expected in the processing of passport applications during the current labor disruption.

Domestic Passport Services

During the current labor disruption, Service Canada only processes domestic passport applications for emergency and humanitarian situations. Passport services are available only at specialized passport sites.

Humanitarian/emergency situations are defined as:

  • passport clients at risk of financial hardship
  • passport clients who rely on travel as a source of employment and their income security will be jeopardized
  • passport clients who must travel for medical reasons, or have had a death or illness in the family
  • passport clients whose situation is deemed urgent on compassionate grounds

Passport services for Canadians living outside of Canada

The processing of regular passports for Canadians residing outside of Canada, including in the United States, is deemed an essential service and continues through the current labor disruption, although clients may experience delays.

Visit Find a Service Canada Office for a comprehensive list of Service Canada Centers, passport offices, and scheduled outreach sites, including up-to-date hours of operation.

  • Processing Applications
    • There will be limited capacity during a strike, so delays in processing are expected. This includes delays to applications currently being prioritized.

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Our team is eager to help your organization navigate the complexities of immigration law & relieve any visa processing frustrations that you are experiencing.

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