Visa services between India and Canada have been significantly affected amidst a controversy surrounding the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader. In response to the situation, New Delhi ceased processing visa applications at the end of last month and has now requested more than 40 diplomats to depart the country. The reduction in diplomatic personnel may potentially lead to delays in the processing of Canadian visa applications.
The diplomatic tension between the two countries escalated when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted last month that there were “credible allegations” linking Indian government agents to the murder that took place in June. India promptly labeled this assertion as “absurd” and retaliated with a series of restrictive measures.
Sources familiar with the matter, as reported by Hindustan Times, have indicated that the recent developments have not yet had a direct impact on Canadian visa processing services. Nevertheless, they pointed out that a substantial reduction in diplomatic staff could eventually affect these services.
Meanwhile, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly expressed a desire for private negotiations with India to resolve the diplomatic dispute. She emphasized the importance of keeping diplomatic discussions private, stating, “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,” according to Reuters.
Canada has not yet presented any public evidence to substantiate the claims regarding the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The country has expressed its intention to work collaboratively with India to address these allegations.
India has reportedly set a deadline of October 10 for Canada to repatriate its diplomats, although Canadian officials have refrained from directly addressing this demand.
In response, Prime Minister Trudeau emphasized that Canada does not seek to escalate the situation with India and reiterated their commitment to maintaining a presence in New Delhi to assist Canadian citizens.