Canada continues visa processing for Indian nationals amid diplomatic tensions

Despite diplomatic dispute between Canada and India, visa processing for Indian nationals by Canadian authorities remains uninterrupted.

On Sept. 21, BLS International, the agency responsible for managing visa application centers in Canada, suspended visa services indefinitely for Canadian nationals. However, Canada has not indicated any suspension of visa processing for Indian nationals. New visa applications from Indian nationals are being accepted without any reported disruption, according to CIC News.

Processing times for Indian nationals seeking visas to Canada have also remained consistent. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada continue to be committed to processing 80 percent of visa applications within their service standards, irrespective of the applicant’s nationality.

Diplomatic tensions

Diplomatic tensions between Canada and India have escalated following a disagreement between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The dispute revolves around the assassination of a prominent Canadian-Sikh leader in British Columbia.

Trudeau has claimed to possess credible intelligence linking the Indian government to the assassination, a claim vehemently denied by Modi. Addressing this issue during a recent visit to New York, Trudeau emphasized Canada’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring the safety of its citizens.

While no official statement has indicated that Canada will cease processing visas for Indian nationals, it continues to accept new applications as usual. Processing times for visas for Indian nationals have remained consistent. IRCC is committed to meeting its service standards for visa processing, regardless of the applicant’s nationality.

Canada remains attractive to Indian students

Canada remains a highly attractive destination for international students, with a 2022 report by the Canadian Bureau for International Education revealing that 40 percent of international students in Canada were of Indian origin in 2022. This figure remains high despite a travel advisory issued by the Indian government in September 2022.

Indian students also constitute a significant portion of Canada’s international student community, with approximately 320,000 Indian students studying in Canada during the last academic year, according to IRCC data.

India remains the largest source country for immigration to Canada, with 118,095 Indians gaining permanent residence in the country in 2022. Out of these, 59,503 individuals transitioned from permanent residents to Canadian citizens, highlighting the enduring connections between the two nations.

Canada maintains ambitious immigration targets as outlined in the 2023-25 Immigration Levels Plan, aiming to admit over 500,000 permanent residents annually by the end of 2025. Immigration Minister Marc Miller anticipates that these targets will remain intact when the next plan is expected to be unveiled by Nov. 1.

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