ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletins 086 – November 14, 2008

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Temporary Foreign Workers – Strike Situations

This Operational Bulletin has expired.


Questions are occasionally raised regarding the impact strike activities have on temporary foreign workers (TFWs).

In response to emergency situations, CIC responds accordingly on a case-by-case basis. Regional offices currently have standard procedures to handle emergencies. Additional analysis will occur in the coming months to develop national emergency guidelines. That said, it is important to note that TFWs affected by strike activities are not generally considered to be in an emergency situation.

Current policy

CIC does not want to take any action that interferes in strike situations between TFWs and their employer or union.

In the case of a legal strike, TFWs have several means of recourse, including:

  • Waiting out the strike with minimal strike pay (like others in the same situation);
  • Returning home; or
  • Finding another position where there are identified shortages in the labour market and proceeding with the normal work permit application process.

This operational bulletin focuses on the issue of maintaining the status of the TFWs in strike situations. For issues relating to TFWs in strike situations who wish to change employers, please see OB 87, which addresses the issue of processing work permit (WP) applications for new employers.

Next Steps

In an effort to evaluate its capacity to maintain another queue and identify issues that could arise, CIC will begin a test of its capacity to handle extension-of-status applications due to strike situations effective December 1, 2008. This test was scheduled to end May 31, 2009, but has now been extended until May 31, 2010.

During this test, a TFW who is in a strike situation may approach the local CIC office or contact the Call Centre for assistance.

If the TFW is looking to find a new employer or to obtain secondary employment, they should be advised of the following:

  • It is the TFW’s responsibility to find a new employer and that employer’s responsibility to apply for a labour market opinion (LMO) with Human Resources and Social Development Canada/Service Canada (HRSDC/SC).
  • The normal process will be followed for both the LMO and WP applications.

If the TFW is concerned about falling out of status during the strike:

  • The TFW should be advised to submit a completed Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay, or Remain in Canada to the address below, prior to the expiry of their current work permit. CIC will accept applications even though all requirements are not met at the time of submission. That is, the application should include all required documents and fees, with the exception of the LMO. The TFW should be advised to send the LMO to the same mailing address once received.

    The mailing address is:
    • Citizenship and Immigration – Work Permit
      6212 - 55th Avenue
      Vegreville, AB
      T9C 1W9
      Attn: Program Specialist
  • CPC-V will log receipt of the application and then place the application on hold for four months. The TFW will have implied status during this time.
  • CPC-V should inform the Temporary Resident Program Delivery Division (TRPD) in OMC of the applications, including any available information on the employer/union. Please send the information to, indicating “TFW-Strike Situation” in the subject line.
  • OMC/TRPD will monitor the strike situation and inform CPC-V of any updates, including the end of the strike.
  • If the TFW provides a valid LMO to CPC-V during the four-month period, CPC-V can finalize processing accordingly. CPC-V will not monitor the system for the presence of an LMO.
  • Four months after receipt in CPC-V, the application will be finalized by CPC-V, whether the strike is over or not. If the LMO is still outstanding, CPC-V will contact the TFW to request the LMO, allowing 30 calendar days for reply. CPC-V will finalize processing once the outstanding LMO is received, or after 30 days if no reply is received.
  • In this process, HRSDC/SC will continue to respect R203(3)(f), which states that one factor HRSDC must consider when providing an LMO is “whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to adversely affect the settlement of any labour dispute in progress or the employment of any person involved in the dispute.”


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