India-Canada Relations: Recent Developments and Immigration Implications

Following a recent update concerning the India-Canada relationship and its implications on immigration processing, here’s a breakdown of the situation in a question-answer format:

Q: What was the incident that strained the diplomatic relations between India and Canada recently?

A: On September 18, the Prime Minister of Canada made a statement regarding the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardip Singh Nijjar. This caused diplomatic relations to become tense.

Q: How has India responded in terms of diplomatic presence?

A: India has removed 41 Canadian diplomats, leaving only 21 in the country. Of these, only 5 will be in the Visa office.

Q: What stance has Canada taken on this decision by India?

A: Canada has noted that there’s no provision in international covenants allowing for mass expulsion of diplomats. However, Canada will respect the privileges of Indian diplomats in the country.

Q: How will consular and visa services be impacted due to the reduction in staff?

A: While Canada is committed to providing core services, the Visa Office services will be drastically reduced due to the cut in staff. Urgent cases and work requiring in-person presence in India will be prioritized by the 5 Canada-based staff.

Q: How significant is the Visa Office in New Delhi in terms of processing volume?

A: The New Delhi High Commission was the largest for Canada. 89% of cases from India are already processed, with 12,000 visas issued annually by IRCC India. They also receive 3,000 passports per day.

Q: How are Indian nationals contributing to Canada’s immigration landscape?

A: Indian nationals make up 22% of Work Permit applications and 49% of Study Permit applications. They also contribute a large percentage to Permanent Residency applications.

Q: What challenges are anticipated due to the reduction in staff and strained diplomatic ties?

A: Due to India’s policy against international passport shipments, the reduced Visa capacity will be strained further. Risk assessments, in-person interviews, and diplomacy on the ground will also be more challenging.

Q: What solutions is the IRCC considering to minimize the impact on processing times?

A: IRCC is looking at leveraging global capacity, especially with increased digital flexibility post-COVID. They’re considering online interviews and moving forward with further integrity measures for international students.

Q: How will communication be handled by IRCC given these changes?

A: The IRCC aims to streamline communication, and they will liaise with the IRCC Call Centre for resource allocation. They’re also considering the implementation of digital visas but haven’t given a specific timeline.

Q: How is this situation perceived from a trade and business standpoint?

A: From the Global Affairs Canada’s (GAC) perspective, this issue is purely between the governments of India and Canada, and it doesn’t reflect on Indian businesses or citizens.

The ongoing situation between India and Canada presents challenges, especially in the immigration landscape. However, both nations are attempting to navigate these challenges while minimizing impacts on individuals and businesses.

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