Visa services between India and Canada affected amid diplomatic tensions

Visa services between India and Canada have encountered significant disruptions in the wake of mounting tensions following the controversial killing of a Sikh separatist leader. Late last month, the Indian government ceased processing visa applications, further exacerbating the strained relations between the two nations. 

In response to this move, India has asked over 40 diplomats to leave the country. While these developments may not have immediately impacted Canadian visa processing services, there are concerns that the reduction in diplomatic personnel could lead to delays.

Trudeau’s Allegations Spark Diplomatic Crisis: The diplomatic rift was ignited when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made statements last month, suggesting “credible allegations” of involvement by Indian government agents in the June murder of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India swiftly dismissed these claims as “absurd” and retaliated with a series of restrictive measures, including the suspension of visa processing and the expulsion of diplomats.

Canadian Response and Diplomatic Initiatives: Despite the escalating tensions, Canadian officials have yet to provide public evidence to substantiate their claims regarding the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Canada has expressed its desire to engage in constructive dialogue with India to address these allegations. Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly emphasized the importance of private talks in resolving the diplomatic dispute.

“We are in contact with the government of India. We take Canadian diplomats’ safety very seriously and we will continue to engage privately because we think diplomatic conversations are best when they remain private,” Joly stated during a press briefing.

India’s Ultimatum and Canadian Response: India has reportedly set a deadline of October 10 for Canada to repatriate the diplomats requested to leave the country. However, Canadian officials have refrained from directly addressing this demand, highlighting the complexity of the ongoing diplomatic standoff.

As tensions persist between the two nations, the impact on visa processing services remains a concern. The reduction in diplomatic personnel, if not resolved swiftly through diplomatic channels, could potentially lead to delays in Canadian visa processing for Indian applicants. Both countries continue to navigate this diplomatic dispute as they seek a resolution to the current impasse.

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