India suspends Visa services to Canadians: Immigration expert explains what it means & how will it impact?
BLS India Visa Application Centre quoted ‘Indian mission notice’ and announced that it is suspending visa services from its missions in Ottawa, Vancouver, and Toronto till further notice.-
The diplomatic standoff between India and Canada hit a new rock bottom on Thursday after New Delhi suspended Visa Services for Canadians. BLS India Visa Application Centre quoted ‘Indian mission notice’ and announced that it is suspending visa services from its missions in Ottawa, Vancouver, and Toronto till further notice. For the unversed, BLS provides Indian visa services in Canada. "Important notice from Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from 21 September 2023, Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice. Please keep checking BLS website for further updates," BLS International said in a notification on the India Visa Application Centre portal, blsindia-canada.com. Now, the question arises of what it actually means and how will it impact the people including NRIs & Punjabis living in Canada.
True Scoop News talking to an Immigration Expert Ashish Ahuja from Ahuja Career Solution, Jalandhar explained how New Delhi's action will impact the Canadian Sikhs and Punjabis. Mr. Ahuja informed that the visa services have been suspended for Canadians and if the Trudeau government takes similar reciprocal action then it may impact Indian students who are all set to move to Canada for their higher studies. Mr. Ahuja pointed out the fact that as of now there is a lack of clarity over New Delhi's decision as there are multiple types of visas that include tourists, students, and many more. "Suppose Canada takes a reciprocal action. Then if a student waiting for his clearance of visa to go study there then what steps would be followed? Also, if a Student has already gotten a visa for Canada and is due to travel there, then how things will unfold? Things will be more clear in the upcoming days."
Mr. Ahuja pointed out that Sikhs and Punjabis who have embraced Canadian citizenship often travel to India in the months of September to December. The major reasons are weddings, family functions, and also chilly winter in Canada.
On Wednesday, India's MEA had issued a fresh strongly-worded travel advisory asking all Indians in Canada and those contemplating travel there, especially Indian students, “to exercise utmost caution in view of growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence”. Following that the Canadian government rejected a travel advisory issued by India about security risks in Canada, saying it is one of the safest countries in the world, and called for calm amid the escalating diplomatic row between the two nations over the killing of a Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.
Notably, MEA's advisory came as a retaliation to Canada's travel advisory to India in which it asked its citizens to exercise caution in travelling to Manipur and to take precautions from natural disasters. The fresh advisory also retained the earlier exhortation not to go to the north-east and UT of J&K. It, however, deemed the UT of Ladakh as safe for travel by Canadians.