PSAC strike: What’s the impact on visa, passport applications?

Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Entered the 6th day One of the largest labor strikes in Canadian history with over 150,000 public service workers participating ask for higher wageswork-from-home options, and increased job security.

Many are wondering how the strike is affecting visa applications, passport renewals and other services provided by PSAC members. On the first day of the strike last Wednesday, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser warned that the impact could be severe and that “the full scale of the disruption will make it difficult to ensure an exact timeline or delays that applicants may face. It will be difficult to assess the

government website indicates a partially or completely interrupted service.

Passport services have been hit hard, according to the government website. During a strike, Service Canada will only process “emergency and humanitarian situations” passport applications.

These situations are defined as:

  • Passport clients at risk of financial hardship,
  • Passport clients who rely on travel as a source of employment and the security of their income are at risk.
  • Passport clients who must travel for medical reasons or who have had death or illness in the family,
  • Passport clients whose situation is deemed urgent for benevolent reasons.
  • The website warns about overall delays in application processing, including “currently prioritized applications.”

However, passport services for Canadians living abroad are considered essential services and will continue during the strike, albeit with possible delays, the government said.

All citizenship events will be rescheduled, but the website says that urgent applications “may still be processed.” Social media with Immigration Canada, Refugees and Citizenship , the IRCC web form, and the Client Support Center will be delayed.

Immigration-related reservations within Canada may be rescheduled, but international reservations will continue unless the applicant is notified to reschedule.

Warren Creates, a certified immigration law specialist, told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday that there is already a backlog of immigration processing caused by the pandemic.

Last fall, the federal government announced plans to significantly increase immigration, with the goal of 500,000 arriving in Canada each year by 2025. The government expects him to rise from 431,645 in 2022 to 465,000 new arrivals in 2023.

Economic immigration is a big part of the Liberal Party’s immigration program, which it hopes will fill about one million vacant jobs in Canada.

Creates said many people here on study permits, work permits or visitor visas who live in Canada and have applied for an extension of stay may find their applications not processed during the disruption of services. said. “People are very nervous because they hear the same things you and I do,” Creates told Your Morning.

Creates said visa and other immigration applications can be submitted online, so filing will not be affected. “But what happens after you submit your application is a big black hole. No one knows who is looking at these applications or when they will be.”

Border services are not affected by the strike, so people arriving in Canada who already have or do not need a visa will not be affected.

Affected by the strikes are “the actual applications for work permits, study permits, permanent residency or indeed citizenship or passports,” he said.

Despite the turmoil, Creates believes Canada can reach its goal of 465,000 new entrants in 2023.

“I think it is still possible because the finance committee has approved new funding to hire new staff. It’s going to be really hard work.”

On Monday, PSAC workers continued their strike at 250 picket lines across the country.

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