Canadian visa processing delays exacerbated by strike action

Published:  17 Jul at 6 PM
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The delays in processing Canadian visa applications at present being experienced by would-be migrants in many world countries are likely to increase due to strike action by immigration officers.

Strike action is being taken by members of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers at offices in Japan, China, the UK, Brazil, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, the USA, Columbia and Indonesia. Immigration officers are advising applicants in these countries to anticipate further delays as a result.

All the offices concerned are remaining open in order to offer a basic service, but processing of applications already received is now in go-slow mode. Given the size of the existing backlog, recent applicants are expected to have even longer waits than first advised.

Urgent applications based on humanitarian grounds are being given priority, and there is no indication as to the length of the industrial action. Even after it ends, it’s expected to take some time before services return to normal.

The action is being taken over unequal salaries when compared with professional federal government staff doing the same job inside Canada. According to a union representative, Tim Edwards, overseas officers receive from CA3,000 to CA14,000 less than their homeland equivalents.

The impact is expected to become worse over the next few weeks, and is also affecting overseas students enrolled in Canadian universities and other places of education. Already, many have been forced to cancel their courses as their visas will not be processed in time.
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