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Strike Over, but Delays Persist: Navigating Canada’s Immigration System


The recent strike by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) that impacted Canada's immigration system has ended, but delays are expected to persist as services return to full capacity. The strike began on April 20th, 2023, and ended on May 1st, 2023, after the Government of Canada and PSAC reached a tentative agreement. However, as a result of the strike, many people have experienced delays in processing their applications for permanent residence, temporary residence, and citizenship. The strike has also affected settlement services and visa application centers outside of Canada.


Despite the end of the strike, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) warns that processing delays may still occur. IRCC is urging applicants to be patient and refrain from submitting inquiries about their application status, as this will only further delay the processing times. Families minister Karina Gould has stated that the job action did cause a backlog in passport processing, leading to longer waiting times.


It is essential to note that certain services remain available. For instance, individuals can still apply online, mail applications to IRCC, use online accounts, and access some emergency services. Non-governmental organizations are still offering settlement services and healthcare through the Interim Federal Health Program. However, it is advisable to keep in mind that delays are likely to occur.

The strike has left thousands of people in immigration limbo, causing difficulties for refugee claimants whose hearings were canceled, sponsored relatives, migrant workers, and foreign students. The strike has been particularly problematic for migrant workers, refugees, and foreign students who rely on the immigration system to remain in Canada. The delays could have negative consequences, including difficulty finding new jobs and missed opportunities for education and career development.


Navigating Canada's immigration system can be challenging, but there are resources available to help. For instance, individuals can reach out to IRCC's client support center or partner organizations offering settlement services. It is essential to remain patient during this period and continue to monitor the situation as services return to full capacity.


In conclusion, the end of the strike is a welcome development, but delays are still expected. Individuals should remain patient and informed about the services that are currently available. It is also crucial to keep in mind that the strike has had a significant impact on many people, and extra support may be needed during this time.


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