Immigration services to be hit as 155,000 Canadian govt employees on strike

Toronto, April 21 (IANS) Delays and disruptions can be expected in processing applications and passport services following the strike by a labour union representing over 155,000 employees that will impact most government departments, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the union representing federal workers, went on strike on April 19 after they failed to reach an agreement with the government on issues related to wages and decent working conditions.
“During this labour disruption, certain services may be delayed or not delivered at all. As well, the public may have trouble accessing some Government of Canada buildings where services are delivered,” the IRCC said in a statement.
The Canadian immigration body said disruptions and delays can be expected in processing applications, immigration-related appointments, contacting IRCC via email, phone or social media, consular citizenship and passport services, citizenship ceremonies, and extending one’s stay in Canada.
However, some IRCC services, like applying online, mailing applications to IRCC, using one’s online accounts, accessing emergency services, will remain available during the labour disruption.
In addition, services offered by non-governmental organisations, including settlement services from IRCC partner organisations, healthcare through the Interim Federal Health Program, and visa application centres outside of Canada, will also remain available.
The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), which plays a key role in the country’s immigration system, is also expecting disruptions to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the collection of biometrics.

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