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Impact of Canada-India Diplomatic Dispute- Visa Processing Delay
The ongoing diplomatic rift between Canada and India may result in delays in the visa process for Indian citizens seeking entry into Canada. This claim was recently confirmed by Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller during a press conference held in Ottawa on Thursday, October 19. The cause of this deceleration lies in India’s insistence that Canada scale down the presence of its diplomatic corps in the country.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie has revealed that 41 diplomats have left India, leaving only 21 diplomats posted in the country.
The controversy stems from a statement made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on September 18, in which he accused India of being involved in the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a prominent Canadian Sikh activist.
Miller clarified that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will significantly reduce its Canadian workforce in India. According to an official communication from IRCC, the number of employees will be reduced from 27 to just 5.
Miller is adamant about assuring clientele in India and Canadians with ties to India that Canada will persist in accepting and processing all temporary and permanent resident applications. Nevertheless, the reduced staff count will lead to short-term consequences. IRCC is attempting to minimize the impact by reallocating functions to the Visa Application Center (VAC), which already handles the majority of Indian applications. However, some tasks will inevitably have to be done via email.
Hence, it is anticipated that processing times will be extended and services will be slower from India, as per Miller’s statement. Applicants may find that their submissions are taking longer to process, questions may take longer to be answered, and visas may take longer to be affixed to the passport.
VACs, being managed by third-party entities, will continue to operate without interruption. Applicants will still be able to avail administrative assistance, submit their passports, and furnish biometrics at one of IRCC’s ten centers in India.
Miller emphasized that newcomers from India have an important role to play in Canada and IRCC will continue to warmly welcome them. Canada’s Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) will continue to receive students, and new applications will be processed, albeit at a regrettably slower pace than before.
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