IRCC Strike Ends: Immigration Services Return to Full Capacity
IRCC reaches a tentative agreement after a strike affecting over 155,000 public workers, including immigration staff.
After a strike that impacted over 155,000 public workers, including those at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have reached a tentative agreement.
The strike began on April 19, and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) instructed its members to return to work at 9 AM Eastern Time on May 4 or their next available shift.
According to PSAC, the tentative agreement includes higher wages that will close the gap with inflation, new and improved language relating to working from home, and other favourable provisions for its members.
Although IRCC services are returning to full capacity, the strike may still impact some services over the next few days and weeks due to backlogs of work. Throughout the strike, IRCC cautioned that delays were expected in several areas, including processing applications, in-person appointments or events, contacting IRCC via email, phone or social media, consular citizenship and passport services, passport services in Canada, Access to Information Act requests, and grants and contributions services.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) reported that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and biometric collection were disrupted during the strike. The TFWP is a critical resource for Canadian employers who require seasonal workers, and for filling urgent job vacancies in high-demand sectors. The ESDC reviews Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs), which are mandatory for employers who want to hire temporary foreign workers.
Despite the strike, applying online to IRCC to extend a stay in Canada was still possible. In addition, IRCC held its regularly scheduled Express Entry draw last Wednesday, inviting an additional 3,500 candidates to apply for permanent residence.