Canada Reduces Staff at Indian Consulates, Had Withdrew 41 Diplomats Earlier

Visa services in both countries were briefly suspended last year as tensions escalated, with Canada temporarily halting visa and in-person consular services in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, and Mumbai.

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Canada’s decision to reduce staffing levels at its consulates throughout India could potentially affect the visa application process for those intending to visit the country.

As stated by a representative from the Canadian High Commission, the reduction in staff was deemed necessary due to a decline in the available Canadian personnel to effectively manage operations within India.

Despite these reductions, the spokesperson affirmed that Canada’s visa application centers in India are operating without disruption, easing concerns about immediate impacts on visa processing procedures.

“We can also confirm that Canada’s visa application centres in India are operating as normal,” the spokesperson assured PTI.

Furthermore, the official emphasized Canada’s commitment to providing essential services to Canadians in India, including consular assistance and support for trade and business development, to uphold the enduring relationship between the citizens of both nations.

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The strained diplomatic relations between India and Canada, heightened by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of potential Indian involvement in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, prompted India to request a reduction in Canada’s diplomatic presence for parity.

In response, Canada withdrew 41 diplomats and their families from India, underscoring the diplomatic tension between the two countries.

Visa services in both countries were briefly suspended last year as tensions escalated, with Canada temporarily halting visa and in-person consular services in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, and Mumbai.

Prime Minister Trudeau recently testified at a public inquiry investigating foreign interference in Canada’s electoral process, reiterating his government’s commitment to protecting Canadians’ interests. Addressing the killing of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar, PM Trudeau stressed the importance of addressing such incidents.

Speaking before the Foreign Interference Commission, chaired by Quebec judge Marie-Josee Hogue, Prime Minister Trudeau expressed concerns about the previous Conservative government’s relationship with the current Indian government, describing it as “cosy.” These remarks come amid heightened diplomatic tensions between Canada and India, particularly following Trudeau’s allegations of potential Indian involvement in Nijjar’s killing, which were refuted by New Delhi as unfounded.

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