Recent tensions between Canada and India have escalated, resulting in Indians facing difficulties in obtaining Canadian visas. The tension arose after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of “potential” involvement in the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia on June 18th. As a result, diplomatic relations between the two countries have been strained.
Canada’s Immigration Minister Mark Miller has confirmed that visa processing for Indians looking to enter Canada will be significantly delayed. The reason lies in the reduced number of Canadian diplomats currently present in India. From the original 62 diplomats, India ordered 41 to leave the country, leaving only 21 remaining in their positions.
The reduction in diplomatic personnel is a major cause for concern as it threatens personal security due to the termination of diplomatic immunity by the Indian government. These circumstances have led to repercussions on services provided to citizens of both countries.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly revealed that consular services and visa processing at Canadian consulates in Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bengaluru have been halted. This decision adversely affects millions of Indian nationals wanting to immigrate to or visit Canada as they now face delays in their visa applications.
Recommendations for Indian Students and Organizations
The Canadian High Commission in Delhi will be the only location still providing these services, though with significant staff reductions – from a previous total of 27 employees down to just five – handling Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship matters.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced the withdrawal of 41 diplomats and their 42 family members from India amidst this ongoing conflict between the two nations. Insisting on prioritizing personal safety over arbitrary decisions, Joly stated, “India has formally conveyed its plan to unethically remove diplomatic immunities for all but 21 Canadian diplomats and dependents in Delhi by October 20.”
As a result of these developments, those seeking visas from India will need to brace for delays and uncertainties surrounding their applications. With no immediate resolution in sight, the diplomatic standoff continues to impact both Indians and Canadians and their international mobility.
Continuing from the ongoing diplomatic row between India and Canada, sources inside the Ministry of External Affairs have shown that both nations are in discussions to discover an amicable solution that addresses their concerns. Diplomatic circles have noted that talks between high-level officials are taking place to moderate the affect of the circumstance on individuals, especially Indian students aspiring to study in Canada.
Nevertheless, educational institutions in both countries have expressed concern over the potential implications of the diplomatic tensions on their international programs, partnerships, and exchange opportunities. Canadian universities rely heavily on Indian students as a source of talent for both academia and future job prospects. On the other hand, Indian students view Canadian institutions as an attractive destination for higher education, considering their global reputations and post-study work opportunities.
Experts recommend that prospective Indian students closely monitor the situation and have contingency plans in place. They also advise exploring alternative universities in other countries with similar academic programs and opportunities. Additionally, experts recommend considering applying for online or hybrid courses offered by Canadian institutions if feasible.
In response to these developments, a few organizations representing Indian students in Canada have joined forces to create a campaign group that seeks to address the challenges faced by their peers. The group aims to open a dialogue with officials from both nations and push for quick resolution of the visa application backlog.
As efforts continue towards diplomatic parity and resolution of differences between both nations, it remains crucial for all stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue that preserves vital connections, fosters collaboration, and maintains a focus on long-term mutual interests.
The progressing diplomatic row between India and Canada has driven to a reduction in Canadian diplomatic staff in India, which may result in critical delays for Indian citizens applying for visas, especially for students seeking to study in Canadian universities. Despite these challenges, Canadians in need of consular help can proceed to access support through the High Commission in Delhi. Both countries must engage with one another to address their contrasts and ensure that the requirements of their citizens are met effectively and productively.
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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.