Canadian visa process closes in UAE amid global strike

Significant delays expected in the UAE on Monday as 15 visa posts affected worldwide
Canadian visa process closes in UAE amid global strike
By Courtney Trenwith
Sun 28 Jul 2013 01:59 PM

Canadian visas will not be processed in the UAE on Monday as part of a worldwide strike by staff that has recently escalated.

The UAE embassy will be one of 15 affected, with others in cities including Riyadh, London, Paris and Beijing.

Visa posts in China, India, Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines already have been targeted for several months, with the number of visas issued down 65 percent, according to the Canadian newspaper Toronto Star.

A Canadian union representing 1,350 foreign affairs officials in trade, diplomatic relations and immigration services has been calling for higher wages since April. It has given the government until Tuesday to meet its latest offer.

The union claims the overall number of visas issued by Canada, including tourist, education and business visas and permanent residence, had fallen 25 percent since it started its protests. The backlog had grown by 5 percent each week.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada estimates bookings from countries already targeted will fall one-third, costing the industry at least $280m.

The strike also is likely to significantly hit the country’s $7.7bn education industry, which has 105,000 foreign students.

The UAE embassy will still be open and visa applications accepted but the temporary halt in processing is expected to delay visa approvals.

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