More than 155,000 federal public sector union workers have entered the second week of a labour strike announced by the Public Service Alliance of Canada last Tuesday, April 18, 2023, after failing to reach a deal with the Government of Canada. Federal services, including services provided by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) continue to be delayed or suspended until further notice.
What is affected by the Federal Government Strike at IRCC?
Longer processing times for Access to Information Act requests, longer response times when using the IRCC web form, longer processing time for immigration applications, and delays in IRCC Client Support Centre response time are to be expected for the duration of the strike.
The IRCC has also announced that non-urgent citizenship events and other inside-Canada immigration-related appointments will be rescheduled. For passport applications, Service Canada is only processing domestic passport applications for emergency and humanitarian situations. For Canadians living outside of Canada, clients may experience delays with the processing of regular passport. However, the services provided will continue as they are deemed to be essential.
Some IRCC services remain available, including:
- applying online,
- mailing applications to IRCC,
- using online accounts,
- accessing some emergency services.
What is Affected at the IRB?
Some services at the IRB will continue for the duration of the strike. Applicants must still submit any required documents within the specified timeframes and withing deadlines provided.
Delays and rescheduling of IRB hearings along with delayed processing of files and response to Access to Information and Privacy services requests are expected for the duration of the strike. Individuals have also been cautioned to expect delays with response to phone, fax or email enquiries and with receiving emails or documents.
According to the statement issued by the IRB, individuals scheduled for a hearing should still appear at the scheduled time and location unless informed of a change. Detention review hearings are not impacted by the strike and will continue as planned.