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India resumes limited visa services for Canadians

India yesterday announced its decision to resume visa services to Canadians for four categories of people, more than a month after New Delhi had suspended the services.

On September 21, India temporarily suspended visa services for Canadian nationals amid a diplomatic faceoff between the two countries following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegation of Indian involvement in the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar outside a Sikh shrine in Vancouver, Canada, in June this year.

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This was followed by tit-for-tar expulsions of diplomats by both countries, escalating the tensions.

Yesterday, the Indian High Commission in Ottawa posted a statement on its X, formerly known as Twitter, that "After a considered review of the security situation that takes into account some recent Canadian measures in this regard, it has been decided to resume visa services for the following categories with effect from October 26, 2023. (a) Entry visa, (b) Business visa, (c) Medical visa, and (d) Conference visa."

"Emergency situations will continue to be addressed by the High Commission and the Consulates General as it is being done currently", the statement added.

"Further decisions, as appropriate, would be intimated based on continuous evaluation of the situation."

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had recently said that "some weeks ago, we stopped issuing visas in Canada because it was no longer safe for our diplomats to go to work to issue visas. So their safety and security was the primary reason we had to temporarily stop the issue of visas".

He had also said India is looking at resuming visa services for Canadians "very soon" if it sees progress in the safety of its diplomats in Canada. Ends