Reason why India Suspends Visa services in Canada
Although New Delhi has not yet made a formal declaration, the organization that manages the application centers in Canada has published a notification on its website.
As the breach between the two nations deepened in the aftermath of Ottawa’s accusations that New Delhi may have been complicit in the death of a Sikh separatist leader in suburban Vancouver, Indian visa services in Canada were shut down on Thursday till further notice for “operational reasons”
The organization that manages the Indian visa application in Canada, BLS International, placed a notice regarding the suspension of services on its website even though a formal announcement has not yet been made.
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Statement given for the suspension of Visa
According to BLS Visa Application Centre, the Canadian application center for Indian visas, the continuing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada have reached a new level, and India has temporarily discontinued its visa services in Canada.
“Due to operational concerns, Indian visa services will no longer be available starting on September 21, 2023, until further notice. Regarding a crucial announcement from the Indian mission, the BLS website flashed, “Please keep visiting BLS website for more information.
Indian citizens living in Canada, particularly students, were warned to travel with the utmost caution on Wednesday by New Delhi.
“All Indian nationals in Canada as well as those who are considering travelling are asked to exercise the utmost vigilance in light of the rising anti-Indian activities, politically-tolerated hate crimes, and criminal violence there. Threats have recently targeted Indian diplomats in particular as well as Indians who disagree with the anti-India agenda, according to the statement.
Relations between India and Canada began to deteriorate on Monday as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of having potential ties to the murder of Sikh separatist activist and Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar and removed a top Indian official.
In retaliation for Ottawa’s decision to expel an Indian official, India likewise fired a senior Canadian diplomat.
It should be mentioned that there is a sizable Indian diaspora in Canada. The population of Canada is made up of roughly 3.7 percent persons of Indian heritage, according to the census taken in 2021. There are around 2% Sikh Canadians.
According to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, there are approximately 800,000 international students in Canada, of which 40% are from India.
On September 20, India warned all of its people who were residing in Canada and those who were considering visiting to take “utmost caution” in light of the rise of anti-Indian sentiment and “politically-condoned” hate crimes in the country.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi issued a strongly worded advisory referring to “threats” targeting Indian diplomats and groups within the Indian community that oppose the “anti-India agenda” and advising Indian nationals to stay away from areas and potential locations in Canada where such incidents have occurred.
Contributed by Ankit Raj Sharma
Edited by Imtiaz Ullah