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This article was originally published on April 23, 2023, and was updated on May 5, 2023, to reflect the latest information.

May 5, 2023, Update: The government of Canada reached a tentative agreement with the Public Sector Alliance of Canada on May 5, 2023. As a result, the agreement signaled the end of the 12-day strike between workers in specific federal public-sector roles, including workers from the immigration department (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

The agreement will result in a wage increase of around 11.5% over the next four years, an additional 0.5% increase for group-specific allowances in the third year of a work contract, and other work improvements. According to the announcement, these measures will help workers maintain better wages in the face of countrywide inflation. For additional information on the wage increases, check here.

Despite negotiations and the resumption of work for workers from the IRCC and ESDC, application processing delays are expected.

Original Post From April 23, 2023:

Key Points

  • Canada has confirmed strike actions that will affect IRCC and other immigration-related government offices and services, resulting in further delays in processing applications


The Canadian government has confirmed that the Public Sector Alliance of Canada, which includes workers from the immigration department (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), is on strike as of April 19, 2023.

As a result of this strike action, several government services are affected, and this will now negatively impact the already backlogged processing of applications by IRCC and ESDC.

IRCC has confirmed that the following services will remain available:

  • The online application filing system will continue to function
  • Visa Application Centers (VACs) outside of Canada
  • Mail-in applications to IRCC

However, the following services will be partially or fully disrupted:

  • Immigration application processing will be delayed
  • In-person appointments or events, including citizenship ceremonies
  • Contacting the IRCC via email, phone, or social media
  • Consular citizenship and passport services
  • Passport services in Canada, including new passports and renewals
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program, including those that require a labor market assessment (LMIA)

As such, this strike action will result in delays in processing applications and increased backlogs in the systems. For further information on disrupted services, check here.

What are the Changes?

The government of Canada has confirmed strike actions that will impact IRCC and other immigration-related government offices and services. The Canadian government acknowledged the valuable contributions of public servants and intends to negotiate with union officials to quickly reach an agreement that provides necessary wage increases to employees.

Looking Ahead

Check the Government of Canada website for the latest updates and information.

Written by: Jessie Butchley, Global Immigration Writer, Envoy Global
Source: Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada

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