Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is one of the federal departments that may be affected by a potential labor disruption involving some public servants. The labor dispute stems from the ongoing negotiations between the government and several bargaining groups representing about 159,000 employees. These groups may be legally authorized to strike starting from the middle of April 2023.

Services Maintained and Disrupted

A labor disruption could significantly impact IRCC's services and operations in Canada and abroad. According to IRCC's website, some of the services that may be fully or partially disrupted include:

  • Processing applications for immigration, citizenship, permanent residence, visitor visas, study permits, work permits, etc.
  • Scheduling and conducting in-person appointments or events, such as citizenship ceremonies
  • Answering queries through email, telephone, or social networking platforms.
  • Providing consular citizenship and passport services.
  • Issuing grants and contributions to partner organizations.

IRCC advises its clients to expect delays and disruptions in these services and to check its website regularly for updates. Despite the labor disruption, certain IRCC services will still be accessible. Clients can still:

  • apply online for various immigration programs
  • mail applications to IRCC
  • use their online accounts to check the status of their files and applications or update their information
  • access some emergency services such as urgent travel documents or humanitarian assistance
  • receive settlement services from non-governmental organizations funded by IRCC
  • access healthcare services through the Interim Federal Health Program
  • use visa application centers outside of Canada

Guidance for Temporary Residents

IRCC also provides some guidance for temporary residents in Canada whose status will soon expire or has expired. Per standard practice, they can apply for an extension to continue their temporary resident status in Canada. With some exceptions, Canada study permit, work permit, and visitor extension applications must be submitted electronically.

The application must be complete to maintain status, including fulfilling all relevant requirements like biometrics, fees, etc. The applicant must apply before their current temporary resident status expires.

Suppose temporary residents apply to renew their work or study permit before it expires. In that case, they can continue working or studying in Canada under the same conditions as their previous permit until a decision is made on their renewal application, as long as they stay in Canada.

Temporary residents who meet these conditions when applying for an extension of status will benefit from maintained status. They may remain in Canada until a decision is rendered on their application; therefore, expedited processing is optional.

Respect for Employees' Rights

IRCC states that it is committed to minimizing the impacts of a labor disruption on its clients and partners. It also urges its clients to respect the rights of employees who may exercise their right to strike and avoid confrontation or violence.

A labor disruption at IRCC could seriously affect many who rely on its services for immigration or citizenship matters. Clients must stay informed and prepared for changes or delays in their applications or appointments. IRCC will update its website and social media channels as the situation evolves.

If you need any assistance with immigration or citizenship matters during this uncertain time, please reach our immigration experts at 8595338595 or email at [email protected] for the best and most professional advice on overseas immigration and relocation.

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