In a bid to increase pay, Canadian diplomats across the GCC have walked off the job.
Their strike, which began yesterday, is part of series of actions diplomats in Canadian missions around the world are taking to pressure the government into increasing salaries. But the move has also brought visa services at embassies in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait almost to a halt, according to the National:
“In light of the large number of visa officers that have withdrawn service, the inventory of applications is growing and, as a result, processing times are longer,” said the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers, the union representing Canadian foreign service officials.
“Applicants of all types should expect delays, which may unfortunately lead to missed vacations to Canada, and possibly delayed start dates for those applying for study permits or work permits.”
Though Canada opened an embassy in Qatar last year, it does not provide visa and passport services.
Canadians living here must go through Kuwait’s embassy for their paperwork, and the UAE embassy is responsible for processing all Canadian visitor and student visa applications for non-Canadian Qatar residents.
It is unclear how long the strike will last, and applicants are being advised to delay proposed trips if possible.
We have put a request into Canada’s Kuwait embassy for more answers, and will update you when we get them.
Credit: Photo by Dan Field