Significant delays for Canadian visas in UAE, GCC

Canadian Foreign Service Officers not working as talks with government breakdown

Canadian Foreign Service Officers serving at the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Canadian Consulate General in Dubai, joined by other Canadian diplomats posted worldwide – including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait – are not working today, as talks between the Government of Canada and the foreign service officers have broken down.

Today, all eligible Officers posted in the Political, Commercial, Economic and Immigration Sections in the UAE have walked out in protest of the Government of Canada’s recent rejection of our offer of binding arbitration.

Immigration officers, who are technically in the position to take the decisions, stopped work yesterday and will continue to do so until further notice.

The Canadian Foreign Service has been without a contract since June 2011, and is insisting that the government review current salaries.
The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi is responsible for processing all visitor, worker, student and resident visas for the UAE, as well as for Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Yemen.

In light of the large number of visa officers that have withdrawn service, the inventory of applications is growing, and as a result processing times are longer.

While applicants will be able to submit their applications at the counter in the following days, the processing will come to a halt until immigration officers resume work.

Hence, applicants of all types should expect delays.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)

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