India resuming some visa services at high commission, consulates in Canada


Published Oct. 25, 2023 10:29 a.m. ET

The Indian flag flies at the High Commission of India in Ottawa on Wednesday, September 20, 2023. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle)

OTTAWA — India’s high commission in Canada says the country’s officials will resume processing some types of visa applications in Ottawa and at consulates in Toronto and Vancouver.

The decision comes a month after New Delhi suspended the services in Canada and for Canadian citizens worldwide.

The high commission says it is resuming business, medical and conference visas, as well as entry for people with family ties in India, but did not include information about other types of visas.

The Canadian Press confirmed the authenticity of social-media posts about the decision, and has sought information about whether tourist, student and journalist visas will also be processed.

India restricted visas after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in the House of Commons last month that Canada’s intelligence services are probing “credible” information about “a potential link” between India’s government and the killing of a Canadian Sikh leader in British Columbia.

India stopped issuing visas in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver on Sept. 21 and eventually worldwide for Canadian citizens, with New Delhi arguing its diplomats in Canada could not safely get to work.

That was despite High Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Verma saying in an interview with The Canadian Press three weeks earlier that he was “very satisfied” with Canada for ramping up protection.

The statement from the high commission does not indicate whether Canadians in other countries can also apply for these visas through India’s missions worldwide.

Before Trudeau’s announcement dramatically heightened tensions between Canada and India, New Delhi had publicly denounced protests by Sikh separatist groups outside its diplomatic missions in Canada, as well as posters that appeared to offer cash rewards for the home addresses of Indian diplomats.

India formally called on Canada to better uphold its duty to protect foreign diplomats.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said on Sept. 14 that Indian diplomats in Canada “have 24/7 security,” which is a service Ottawa offers to very few diplomatic missions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2023.

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