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This article was updated more than 6 months ago. Some information may be outdated.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) workers are back at work today, May 1, after the union reached a tentative agreement with the Treasury Board.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the union representing 155,000 public services workers including those at IRCC, says on its website it has secured a contract that provides wage increases and protections around remote work.

The strike began on April 19, and lasted 12 days. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser told reporters the stoppage resulted in 100,000 cases not processed. However, now that employees have returned to work, public servants will be able to process these applications.

Fraser says he’s hopeful they’ll be able to make up the gap in productivity soon, especially after the lessons they learned through tackling the pandemic backlog.

Services at both IRCC and at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) were impacted. No draws were held for International Experience Canada (IEC) candidates during the strike. However, there was one Express Entry draw.

Some IRCC services were fully or partially disrupted. According to the Government of Canada’s webpage, the following services were impacted:

  • processing applications
  • in-person appointments or events including citizenship ceremonies
  • contacting IRCC via email, phone or social media
  • consular citizenship and passport services
  • passport services in Canada

The following IRCC services were available during the strike:

  • apply online
  • mail applications to IRCC
  • use your online accounts
  • access some emergency services

Among services that will be resuming, IRCC’s social media team is once again available to answer questions.

PSAC began negotiations for better wages and working conditions in December 2020. Public service workers were asking for better wages, addressing systemic racism in the workplace, the ability to work from home, and better job security.

Processing delays still impacted by the pandemic

You can view the current estimated processing times on IRCC’s webpage. Keep in mind, the figures are based on the government’s performance over the last six months and may not necessarily reflect the reality for new applications.

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About the author

Shelby Thevenot

Shelby Thevenot

Canadian Immigration Writer
Shelby is a journalist, freelance writer, and expert news analyst with more than five years of experience in writing about Canadian immigration.
Read more about Shelby Thevenot
Citation "IRCC strike ends with tentative agreement." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation


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