IRCC provides update on impact of labour disruption
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Federal Government of Canada came to an agreement after a strike lasting from April 19th to May 1st. The strike had an impact on over 155,000 public servants, including those of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
IRCC says there may be some service impacts over the next while until services return to full capacity and delays are dealt with.
What services were partially or fully disrupted?
Most IRCC services were impacted, and delays should be expected within the following areas:
- Citizenship events
- Contacting IRCC
- Extending your stay in Canada
- Immigration related appointments
- Passport services
- Processing applications
Biometrics collection in Canada are being given an extension. If you were unable to give your biometrics within 30 days due to the strike, you are now given 60 days to complete this step. You will not be required to contact IRCC from an extension nor will you need a new biometric instruction letter to make another appointment. As long as you bring your original biometric instruction letter to your new appointment and have proof of payment you will be eligible for the extension.
Citizenship events that were cancelled due to the strike are currently in the process of being rescheduled, and new invitation letters are to be sent out as soon as possible.
Client Support Centre response times are experiencing service delays following the strike, so you should expect longer response times when using the IRCC web form.
In regards to extending your stay in Canada, you can apply online. However, 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
- The application must be complete and include biometrics, fees and any other applicable requirements
- You must submit your application before your temporary residence status expires
If you are in Canada, any in person immigration related appointments that were cancelled due to the strike are in the process of being rescheduled, and you will be notified of your new appointment as soon as possible. If you are outside Canada, overseas interviews are proceeding as scheduled, unless indicated otherwise.
IRCC has resumed processing domestic passport applications. If you have already submitted a passport application, it will be processed and there is no need to reapply. You can also get real-time updates on the processing of your applications through the online passport status checker.
If you applied for a passport prior to the strike and the application is currently being processed, you may contact the Passport Call Centre or visit a passport office to request that your application be prioritized if you have an imminent need.
IRCC has been experiencing a higher volume of applications, which may cause longer line ups at passport offices and Service Canada Centres and longer processing times.
Finally, processing application times have been increased as there was limited processing capacity during the strike. Delays in applications that are currently being prioritized is also to be expected.