• Labor Actions Mean Delays at Canadian Diplomatic Posts and Vancouver Airport
  • August 30, 2013
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Processing of Canadian visa applications continues to be delayed by a labor dispute at Canadian diplomatic posts, while the threat of a separate job action may significantly impede travel through the Vancouver airport this weekend.

    The Public Service Alliance of Canada, a union representing workers employed directly by the Vancouver Airport Authority, served a 72-hour strike notice at the airport on August 27, and job action could begin as soon as Friday, August 30. Significant travel delays, including cancelled flights, could occur. Travelers to British Columbia are advised to plan accordingly.

    Separately, a labor dispute continues between the Canadian government and the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers, the union representing immigration officers who process applications at Canadian visa offices abroad. Negotiations remain stalled, and it is understood that the union will escalate the dispute if not resolved before this fall. It is presumed that visa offices abroad will continue to operate with a limited “essential staff,” but that priority will be given to applications requiring humanitarian and compassionate considerations. Applicants are encouraged to apply for visas as early as possible in light of the continuing delays.