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Canada Visa Processing To Slow For India Amid Diplomatic Rift

Last Updated On 20 October 2023, 11:58 AM EDT (Toronto Time)

Canada India latest news: Today, October 19, the IRCC officially posted that Canada visa applicants from India should now expect processing delays due to an ongoing diplomatic rift.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada is cutting its staff in India from 27 to only 5 in response to India’s intention to unilaterally withdraw immunities for the majority of the Canadian diplomats.

There were 62 Canadian diplomats in India as of October 20, out of which 42 have now returned to Canada along with their dependent family members.

As a result, only 21 Canadian diplomats are now left in India, ensuring parity strictly requested by the Indian government.

The Indian government bluntly conveyed that they will only keep the immunity of 21 Canadian diplomats, which is equal to their diplomatic presence in Canada.

As a result, 41 Canadian diplomats departed from India yesterday night, along with their 42 family members.

Affect on Canadian Citizens living in India

There are a lot of Canadian citizens of Indian origin living in India or visiting their families.

As a result of this ongoing dispute, they will be unable to access assistance from Canadian consulates in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chandigarh.

Only the Canadian High Commission in Delhi will be the contact point for citizens of Canada in India.

All the walk-in services at Mumbai, Banglaore, and Chandigarh consulates are paused now.

Affect On Canada Visa Processing

This withdrawal of diplomats on the instruction of the Indian government will now result in slower processing times for Canadian visa applicants from India.

Canada expects the reduction of staff in India will lead to a backlog of 17,500 “final decisions” across Canada’s global immigration system over the next two months.

The Canadian immigration department hopes to return to normal processing by “early 2024.”

The immigration minister assured that they would continue to welcome newcomers from India.

Furthermore, new Canada visa applications will be accepted and processed since most of the administrative tasks are handled by a third party (VFS Global).

The IRCC states that 89% of Indian applications are being handled via the global network and the vast majority of applications are already handled outside of India.

It is important to note that common sense should prevail rather than believing in diplomatic words.

Canadian staff has been reduced by 27 to 5 which seems to be other than diplomats. In layman terms, whatever is being processed in India will roughly reduce by 1/5th.

The Immigration Minister said the five IRCC employees from Canada who are still in India will concentrate on tasks that call for an in-country presence, such as urgent processing, visa printing, risk assessment, and overseeing key partners.

So over the coming months, Indian clients can anticipate some delays. This means a longer time in:

  • Overall processing
  • response to enquiries
  • Visa stamping on passports

Canada’s Response

Canadian Global Affairs Minister Melanie Joly clearly stated that they would not reciprocate or escalate the situation.

She said Canada doesn’t want to exacerbate its dispute with India so it won’t ask New Delhi to likewise draw down its diplomatic presence in Canada.

“A unilateral revocation of diplomatic privileges and immunities is contrary to international law. It is a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” she said.

“And threatening to do so is unreasonable and escalatory.”

So Canada is not planning to respond to the situation or just want to stop the ongoing tug-of-war here.

Importance of Indian Visa Applicants For Canada

Immigration is of outmost importance for Canada to keep up with its population growth and economic growth.

India is the top source country for temporary and permanent residents in Canada.

In the first half of 2023, 434,899 new international students were admitted to Canada, with over 40% of those students coming from India.

Furthermore, Canada landed 84,000 Indians as permanent residents, which was roughly 1/3rd of the 263,180 new immigrants landed in the first two quarters of 2023.

So as a business, Canada cannot afford to lose its top source of immigration and visas.

“India isn’t only the top country for permanent and temporary residents but their citizens have made great contributions to Canada and that can’t be understated. Newcomers from India have played a vital role and we will continue to welcome them.” Immigration Minister Marc Miller

Marc Miller tweeted, “Processing times will inevitably be impacted by this unacceptable and unilateral decision by the Government of India, but we will strive to minimize the impact on people looking to come to Canada.”


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