The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) union is currently taking strike action following almost two years of unsuccessful negotiations with the Federal Government. The PAFSO union members, including immigration and visa officers responsible for processing temporary visa applications and permanent resident applications, began walking out of diplomatic missions and overseas processing centres last week.
The coordinated escalation started on Thursday June 6, 2013 as about 400 union members walked off the job from the Pearson Building, headquarters for the Department of Foreign Affairs. They were followed by the walkout of another 100 Foreign Service officers at a dozen key Canadian missions abroad, including London, Paris, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, and Hong Kong, as well as the immigration sections at Canada's two largest visa-processing centres in Beijing and New Delhi.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has indicated that the posted processing times for both temporary and permanent resident visa applications do not take into account work stoppages. CIC also announced there are contingency plans in place to ensure all offices remain open and are providing at least a minimum level of service. However, the priority will be placed on urgent humanitarian applications.
Please be aware anyone applying for a visa should anticipate delays and should submit their application as far in advance as possible.