03 11/2023

Update on Indo Canadian relations

Update on Indo Canadian relations

The tensions prevailing between India and Canada have not seen any solution yet. Almost a month after Justin Trudeau’s comments, the rift between the countries is only getting deeper.

India states that it has had conversations with Canada for over a year. India had demanded that Canada give Hardeep Singh Nijjar back to them as he is a wanted criminal. India had also shared a list of many others involved. Canada was asked to either act upon them or return them. However, Canada did not respond to these requests. India has raised concerns about Canada’s neglect and providing a haven to these radical groups. The Canadian soil is being used to plan attacks on India. And this is something that was unacceptable to India.

India is the victim here. In fact, India feels that Canada is interfering with India’s internal matters. Canada should have acknowledged this problem. India fails to understand why Canada has not been responding to the core issue. What could be the reasons for Canada to ignore such an important issue?

What steps has India taken

India stands tall and justifies its comments on Canada and its neglect towards taking the desired actions. The Indian government has sacked over 41 Canadian diplomats. They have agreed to keep the number of diplomats equal to the number of Indian diplomats in Canada.

How does it affect Indians travelling to Canada?

Because of the steps taken by the Indian government, IRCC has delayed the processing of Canadian visa applications submitted from India. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada or IRCC is cutting its staff. They have decided to bring the number down from 27 to 5.

The dispute has indeed caused trouble for Indians living in Canada. A number of students and professionals go to Canada each year from India. The Indians living in Canada will not be able to get assistance from the Canadian consulates that are based out of Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bengaluru. These cities are not entertaining any walk-in services as well. Everything now will be delivered to the Canadian High Commission based in Delhi.

The Indian government has lowered the number of diplomats to one-fifth. Thus, the processing time of visas has also reduced at the same rate

Canada however is ready to welcome Indians. They expect the process to normalize by 2024 as most of the visa processing tasks are taken care of by VFS. There are just 5 diplomats in the IRCC in India. They need to concentrate on visa printing and urgent visa processing. As they already have a lot of work in hand Indian citizens should expect a delay in processing, query response and visa stamping.

How did Canada respond?

Canada however does not want to escalate the issue anymore. They are not looking at downsizing the Indian diplomat presence in Canada. Diplomatic privileges being revoked is a violation of the Vienna Convention and this is not reasonable is what the Canadian government sticks upon.

Fewer Indians migrating to Canada is Canada’s loss

Canada needs the immigrant population to meet its economic and population growth. India provides for many permanent and temporary resident movements to Canada. India is a top immigration source and Canada does not want to lose on that.

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