The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), a union representing more than 155,000 federal government employees, has announced a strike effective today that will impact most government departments, including Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The PSAC strike is a result of a dispute between the union and the government regarding fair wages, work-life balance, workplace inclusivity, and job security. The strike will impact most government services, including passport services, citizenship ceremonies, and contacting IRCC via email, phone or social media.
Areas of Disorder
According to IRCC, disruptions and delays are expected in several areas:
- Processing Applications
The processing of applications will be delayed, affecting those who have applied for immigration, citizenship, and passport services.
- In-person Appointments or Events including Citizenship Ceremonies
IRCC offices will not be able to offer in-person appointments or events, including citizenship ceremonies.
- Contacting IRCC via Email, Phone, or Social Media
It will be challenging to contact IRCC via email, phone, or social media due to the strike.
- Consular Citizenship and Passport Services
Consular citizenship and passport services will be impacted.
- Passport Services in Canada
Passport services in Canada will be delayed.
Available IRCC Services
Despite the strike, some IRCC services will remain available to applicants, including:
- Apply Online
Applicants can still apply online for immigration, citizenship, and passport services.
- Mail Applications to IRCC
Applicants can still mail their applications to IRCC.
- Use Your Online Accounts
Applicants can use their online accounts to access information.
- Access Some Emergency Services
Emergency services will still be available.
Other Available Services
Some services are offered by non-governmental organizations and will remain available, including:
- Settlement Services from IRCC Partner Organizations
Settlement services will continue to be offered by IRCC partner organizations.
- Health Care through the Interim Federal Health Program
Healthcare services will still be available through the Interim Federal Health Program.
- Visa Application Centres outside of Canada
Visa application centres outside of Canada will not be impacted by the strike.
Impact on Employment and Social Development Canada
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is expecting disruptions to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the collection of biometrics.
The government reports that benefit payments will be prioritized, and payments will continue as scheduled for employment insurance, Canada Pension Plan payments, veterans’ income support, and Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement payments.
The PSAC strike will impact most government services, including passport services, citizenship ceremonies, and contacting IRCC via email, phone, or social media. Despite the disruptions, some IRCC services will still be available to applicants, and non-governmental organizations will continue to offer settlement services and health care through the Interim Federal Health Program. The government has assured Canadians that benefit payments will continue during the strike.