Canada-India relationship strains amid accusations, yet immigration ties remain strong

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Visa Processing Centre Shuts Down as Rift Widens Between Nations

In a recent development, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's accusations of India's involvement in the killing of a Sikh leader in Canada have strained the Indo-Canadian relationship. Trudeau's assertion that India may have had a role in the slaying of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia, has drawn ire from the Indian government.

Accusations and Denials: Hardeep Singh Nijjar had been a supporter of an independent Khalistani state, a Sikh homeland, and was labeled a terrorist and leader of a militant separatist group by India. Trudeau's statement in the House of Commons regarding possible links between Indian agents and the killing led to a sharp response from India, dismissing the allegations as absurd. India has emphasized its concerns about Canada sheltering Khalistani terrorists and extremists.

Immigration Relations Remain Strong: Despite the diplomatic tension between the two nations, Canada continues to welcome Indians for study, work, and immigration. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is actively issuing work and study permits to Indians and encouraging them to make Canada their new home. India stands as the most significant source of new permanent residents in Canada, surpassing China by a substantial margin in the list of top sources of new permanent residents.

India's Growing Contribution to Canada: Recent IRCC data indicates that India contributed 118,245 new permanent residents to Canada last year, accounting for over 27 percent of the total newcomers, which reached 437,610. India's significance as a source of new permanent residents has only increased this year, with 96,085 Indians becoming permanent residents in the first seven months, constituting more than 31.6 percent of the total 303,955 newcomers during that period.



Immigration Pathways for Indians: 
A significant majority of Indians gaining permanent residency in Canada do so through economic programs, notably the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The popularity of the CEC among Indians is driven by the high number of international students in Canadian institutions and Indian professionals working in Canada under temporary work permits.

Temporary Foreign Workers from India: Indians also play a vital role as a source of temporary foreign workers for Canadian businesses. Last year, 18,980 Indians received work permits under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), and an additional 142,315 Indians obtained work permits through the International Mobility Program (IMP), totaling 161,295 temporary foreign workers from India.

Continued Growth in Temporary Foreign Workers: The importance of India as a source of temporary foreign workers has continued to grow, with 183,740 Indians receiving work permits under the IMP in the first seven months of this year and an additional 17,350 through the TFWP. The total number of work permits issued to Indian foreign nationals under these programs for the year to date stands at 201,090, reaffirming the strong ties between India and Canada in the realm of immigration and employment.

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