Canada visa processing for Indians to slowdown amid diplomatic dispute
Amid the ongoing diplomatic dispute between Canada and India, Canada's Immigration Minister Marc Miller said that visa processing of Indians looking to come to Canada will slowdown for now.
The reason for the slowdown is India's request that Canada reduce the number of diplomats it has stationed in India, Miller confirmed on Thursday.
IRCC said in a statement, "Following India's intent to unilaterally remove immunities for all but 21 Canadian diplomats and dependents in Delhi by October 20, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is reducing its number of employees in India from 27 to 5. IRCC will continue to accept and process applications from India, but reduced staffing levels are expected to impact processing times."
A reduction in Canadian diplomatic staff in India may cause delays for Indian citizens in various services, such as visa processing and passport issuance, IRCC mentioned but assured staff in Canada will handle necessary tasks.
"The large majority of applications from India are already processed outside the country, with 89% of India's applications processed through the global network. The 5 Canada-based IRCC staff who remain in India will focus on work that requires an in-country presence such as urgent processing, visa printing, risk assessment and overseeing key partners," the statement further mentioned.
41 of Canada's 62 diplomats in India have been removed
Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said Thursday that 41 of Canada's 62 diplomats in India have been removed, along with their dependents. Joly said exceptions have been made for 21 Canadian diplomats who will remain in India.
Joly added India’s decision will impact the level of services to citizens of both countries. She said Canada is pausing in-person services in Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bangalore.
The dispute from the two countries follows a September 18 announcement by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accusing India of murdering a prominent Sikh activist in Canada, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Canada alleges India's involvement in the killing of Nijjar in suburban Vancouver. India denies involvement, accusing Canada of harboring separatists and taking diplomatic steps to protest the accusation.