It seems like IRCC will now have another reason that they can point out answering the questions on backlog.
Reiterating, using your online GCKey account for updates, new applications (online and by mail), and access to emergency services will continue during the strike.
Furthermore, settlement services, health care via the Interim Federal Health Program, and visa application centres outside of Canada will stay functional since they are provided by non-government organizations.
IRCC has updated the Service Disruptions information by adding more context to them. Below are the category-wise services that will be partially or fully disrupted due to IRCC Strike.
IRCC Strike New Update on Service Disruptions
Events related to citizenship will be changed, but certain urgent applications could still be processed.
As per latest IRCC update, processing time for citizenship grant application of an adult is taking around 22 months.
Consular Passport and Citizenship services
Expect delays if you are obtaining citizenship or a passport outside of Canada. However, applicants will still be able to access their submitted documents and passport applications.
Access To Information and Privacy (ATIP)
For ATIP requests under the Access to Information Act, there will longer than usual processing times.
Expect longer than usual response times at the IRCC Client Support Centre because of service delays.
Similarly, expect longer than usual response times to queries made via online web forms.
If you want to stay longer in Canada amid the IRCC labour disruption, then you will need to apply online.
To maintain your status and stay in Canada while your application is processing, ensure that your application is complete including the biometric, fee, and other applicable requirements.
As you normally do, submit your application prior to expiry of your existing temporary residency status in Canada.
Now reports are that biometric collection appointments are being cancelled by Service Canada for inside-Canada applicants.
So it seems applicants will have to face the problems again, until or unless IRCC exempt in-Canada applicants from biometric.
Canadian immigration department will respond to urgent requests from sponsored recipients, but expect delays here as well.
Funded recipients will still get their first advance payment in 2023-2024.
Clients who have appointments for immigration-related matters inside Canada will be called by IRCC to reschedule or cancel them.
For outside Canada, scheduled appointments and interviews will go as planned, unless the IRCC office abroad instructs to reschedule.
During the present labour disruption, expect delays in the processing of Canadian passport applications.
Domestic passport applications are only processed by Service Canada in emergency and humanitarian situations.
Regular passport processing for Canadians residing outside of Canada, including in the United States, is designated a vital service and will continue despite the present labour disruption, however customers may face delays.
As per IRCC, this delay also includes applications that are presently being prioritized.
Why is IRCC on strike?
The Public Service Alliance Canada (PSAC) union, which represents over 155,000 Canadian public workers including IRCC employees is on strike until their demands are met.
They are on strike for better pay, a better work-life balance, greater workplace inclusion, and fewer layoffs by creating more employment rather than contracting roles to private organizations.
What is IRCC Strike End Date?
Experts say that strike will not last long; either the government and union will reach an agreement or the Canadian government will have to use “back-to-work legislation” (given the extent of work being affected).
IRCC and federal public employees are currently on strike indefinitely until their demands are met.