India has announced the resumes of visa services to Canadians in specific categories. At ending a month-long suspension that followed heightened tensions between the two nations.
Select Categories Eligible
According to the Indian High Commission in Canada, visa services for Canadians will be reinstated for the following categories: entry visas, business visas, medical visas, and conference visas. This decision, effective from October 26, 2023, comes after a thorough review of the security situation. It is considering recent measures taken by Canada.
The official statement also assures that emergency situations will continue to be addressed by the High Commission and Consulates General.
Background of Suspension
The suspension of visa services for Canadian nationals was initiated on September 21, 2023, amidst diplomatic tensions between India and Canada. The tensions were sparked when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of involvement in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June of that year. The situation escalated with reciprocal expulsions of diplomats, further straining relations between the two countries.
Safety and Security Concerns
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar recently shed light on the reason behind the visa suspension. He is citing that the diplomatic relationship was going through a “difficult phase.” He explained that the safety and security of Indian diplomats in Canada were a primary concern. It is making unsafe for them to continue issuing visas. Jaishankar expressed India’s intention to resume visa services for Canadians “very soon” if there is progress in ensuring the safety of its diplomats in Canada.