Canada deems India’s visa service modification unnecessary

Canada has welcomed India’s decision to resume some visa-related services, seeing it as a positive development after a period of uncertainty for Canadians.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 26 October, 2023 5:26 pm IST
India resumes visa services for Canada

NEW DELHI: Canada has welcomed India’s decision to resume some visa-related services, seeing it as a positive development after a period of uncertainty for Canadians. Immigration Minister Marc Miller expressed his approval of the decision, stating that the suspension of visa services “should never have happened.”

A month ago, India had suspended visas for Canadians following allegations by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Najjar was killed on June 18, by two unidentified gunmen outside a gurdwara in Surrey, in the western Canadian province of British Columbia.

The Indian government vehemently denied these allegations, dismissing them as baseless and politically motivated. Nevertheless, these accusations triggered a significant diplomatic dispute between the two nations.

Minister of immigration Marc Miller stated, “Our feeling is that a suspension should never have happened in the first place,” highlighting the unsettling diplomatic situation that had caused anxiety in various communities.

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Canada’s Emergency Preparedness Minister, Harjit Sajjan, welcomed India’s decision but refrained from speculating on the message behind India’s resumption of these services. He emphasised the importance of facilitating travel between Indians and Canadians for events like weddings and funerals.

Furthermore, Ottawa continues to seek India’s cooperation in the investigation into the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India will now resume services for entry visas, business visas, medical visas, and conference visas for Canadians.

Marilyne Guevremont, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada (GAC) – the department that manages the country’s diplomatic and consular relations, told CBC News that GAC is aware of the Indian government’s “decision to resume certain categories of visa processing for Canadians.”

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“Canada and India share important people-to-people ties and India’s resumption of visa services will make it easier for families and businesses to travel between our countries,” Guevremont said.

 

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