Today, October 19, the IRCC announced that Canada visa applicants from Indian will now face processing delays owing to the ongoing diplomatic stalemate.
In reaction to India’s intention to unilaterally withdraw immunities for the bulk of Canadian diplomats, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada is reducing its staff in India from 27 to only 5.
As of October 20, there were 62 Canadian ambassadors in India, 42 of whom have now returned to Canada with their dependant family members.
As a result, only 21 Canadian diplomats remain in India to ensure the parity demanded by the Indian government.
The Indian government has stated unequivocally that they will only maintain the protection of 21 Canadian diplomats, which is equivalent to their diplomatic presence in Canada.
As a result, 41 Canadian ambassadors and their 42 family members left India last night.
Impact on Canadians living in India
Many Canadians of Indian heritage live in India or travel there to see family.
They will be unable to seek aid from Canadian consulates in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chandigarh as a result of the continuing disagreement.
The only point of contact for Canadian citizens in India will be the Canadian High Commission in Delhi.
All walk-in services at the consulates in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chandigarh have been suspended.
The Impact on Canada Visa Processing
The withdrawal of diplomats at the request of the Indian government has resulted in longer processing periods for Indian visa applicants to Canada.
The Immigration Minister stated that they will continue to welcome Indian immigrants.
Furthermore, because the majority of administrative chores are handled by a third party (VFS Global), new Canada visa applications will be accepted and processed.
According to IRCC, the worldwide network handles 89% of Indian applications, and the vast majority of applications are already handled outside of India.
It is crucial to highlight that common sense should take precedence over diplomatic jargon.
The Canadian workforce has been downsized from 27 to 5, all of whom appear to be non-diplomats. In layman’s terms, whatever was being handled in India will be reduced by one-fifth.
According to the Immigration Minister, the five Canadian IRCC staff who remain in India will focus on duties that require an in-country presence, such as urgent processing, visa printing, risk assessment, and managing critical partners.
As a result, Indian clients may expect some delays in the following months. This requires investing more time in:
1. Processing in general
2. Reply to inquiries
3. Passport visa stamping
Melanie Joly, Canada’s Global Affairs Minister, has indicated unequivocally that they will neither respond or worsen the situation.
She stated that Canada does not want to aggravate its issue with India, thus it will not request that New Delhi reduce its diplomatic representation in Canada.
“It is against international law to revoke diplomatic privileges and immunities unilaterally.” “It is an obvious violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” she stated.
“And threatening to do so is unreasonable and escalatory.”
So Canada has no plans to respond to the issue or simply end the tug-of-war here.
Importance of Indian Visa Applicants in Canada
Immigration is critical for Canada to keep up with its population and economic growth.
India is Canada’s leading source country for temporary and permanent residents.
In the first half of 2023, 434,899 new international students were admitted to Canada, with India accounting for more than 40% of those students.
Furthermore, Canada admitted 84,000 Indians as permanent residents, accounting for roughly one-third of the 263,180 new immigrants admitted in the first two quarters of 2023.
As a result, Canada cannot afford to lose its primary source of immigration and visas.
“Not only is India the top country for permanent and temporary residents, but their citizens have made significant contributions to Canada, which cannot be overstated.” Indian newcomers have played an important role, and we will continue to welcome them.” Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration