The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that visa processing for Indian nationals may return to normal by early 2024. In a press conference held on October 19th, 2023, Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller acknowledged the ongoing dispute between Canada and India which has resulted in slower processing times for Indian visa applications.
Despite the challenges, Miller emphasized the importance of welcoming newcomers from India, stating that they play a vital role in Canadian society. Senior IRCC officials have informed Canadian stakeholders that due to a reduction of staff in India, a backlog of approximately 17,500 “final decisions” is expected within the global immigration system over the next two months. However, they are optimistic about returning to normal processing times early in the new year as the 22 immigration staff pulled from India reestablish themselves and resume work in Canada and the Philippines.
Causes for Slower Visa Application Processing
The slower visa application processing is attributed to India’s recent decision to remove immunity for all but 21 Canadian diplomats and their dependants in New Delhi by October 20th, 2023. Consequently, 41 Canadian diplomats and their 42 dependants are at risk of losing their privileges. In an IRCC statement, revoking diplomatic privileges and immunity is considered contrary to international law and an unreasonable escalation by India. The IRCC argues that Canadian diplomats were operating in good faith toward the betterment of both countries.
Impact on Operations
Due to these mass expulsions, IRCC’s operations and client services are significantly impacted. All in-person services at consulates have been temporarily halted; however, application acceptance and processing continue. Certain requirements must also be completed locally or on-site within secure environments. The IRCC team in India has been reduced from 27 members to just five; those remaining will prioritize tasks requiring an in-country presence – such as urgent document processing, visa printing, risk assessment, and overseeing key partners like visa application centres and medical exam facilities.
To minimize the impact on Visa Application Centres (VACs), IRCC plans to adjust their workload, as they already handle the majority of applications from India. IRCC aims to resume full capacity for India visa operations as soon as possible and restore normal processing times by early 2024.
The ongoing conflict between Canada and India has slowed down the processing time of visa applications for Indians. This creates problems for those who want to immigrate to Canada because the requirements have a big impact and there are delays in the personal services of the consulate. Despite these obstacles, IRCC remains committed to welcoming new immigrants from India and working to reduce the impact of visa applications. It is expected that in early 2024, the visa process will return to normal as migrant workers move to other regions, allowing stable employment and cooperation to be re-established between the two countries.
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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, exclusively written and published by IntraSource. The published information is sourced from various trusted platforms, such as news agencies and online media, mainly the Government of Canada and Canadian online media/websites, and should not be considered as legal or professional advice. IRCC’s requirements may change, so consult a lawyer/s and receive professional advice before making decisions or applications.