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Canada’s Immigration System is Back to Normal Following the IRCC’s Strike

Robert Cannon




The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Federal Government have tentatively reached an agreement following a strike. The strike had affected more than 155,000 public employees, including those at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). On April 19, the strike got going. PSAC has given its members until 9 AM Eastern Time this morning, or until the end of their next available shift, to report back to work.

The provisional deal, according to PSAC, the union has advantageous measures for its members, including greater wages that will close the wage gap with inflation and new and improved language relating to working from home. As services resume operation at full capacity, IRCC warns that there might still be some service impacts over the coming days and weeks.

According to IRCC, some delays and disruptions can be anticipated in the following areas like processing applications, in-person meetings or events, citizenship ceremonies, contacting IRCC via phone, email, or social media, consular citizenship and passport services, and passport services in Canada, grants and contributory services, information act requests, and more.

Note: You may still submit an online application to the IRCC to extend your stay while on strike. In addition, IRCC conducted its regularly scheduled Express Entry lottery last Wednesday. IRCC also allowed an extra 3,500 applicants to submit applications for PR notwithstanding the strike. There have also been delays in the collecting of biometric data and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), according to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

What Was This Strike All About?

Between February 22 and April 11, PSAC held nationwide strike elections. Further it failed to result in an agreement, PSAC members decided to strike as of April 19 at 12:01 a.m. The union said that by creating more jobs rather than outsourcing labour to for-profit businesses, it would be able to achieve its goals of equal pay, a better work-life balance, greater workplace diversity, and fewer layoffs.


Moreover, union members’ desire to carry on working remotely, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, was one of the deal breakers. According to PSAC, public sector employees are just as productive working from home as they are in the office, and 90% of employees want to keep working from home. While on strike, remote employees were required to walk the picket line.

The demands, according to the government, would have a significant negative impact on the provision of services to Canadians and would make it more difficult for it to manage personnel inside the public service. In light of the elevated cost of living in Canada right now, the Union was also requesting increased compensation for its members.

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