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India can expect visa delays, warns Canadian authority

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on Thursday said that there would be a slowdown of Indian visa applications after Canada removed its 41 diplomats from India amid the ongoing India-Canada standoff.

In a press statement from IRCC said, "Following India's intent to unilaterally remove immunities for all but 21 Canadian diplomats and dependents in Delhi by October 20, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is reducing its number of employees in India from 27 to 5. IRCC will continue to accept and process applications from India, but reduced staffing levels are expected to impact processing times."

Moreover, the statement said that due to the decrease in Canadian diplomatic staff in India, Indian citizens would face delays in overall processing times, responses to enquiries and getting visas or their passports back.

Meanwhile, the Canadian authorities have assured that the Canada-based IRCC staff in India will do the day-to-day work required in the country.

Quoting the statement, "The large majority of applications from India are already processed outside the country, with 89% of India's applications processed through the global network. The 5 Canada-based IRCC staff who remain in India will focus on work that requires an in-country presence such as urgent processing, visa printing, risk assessment and overseeing key partners."

Canada Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced on Thursday (local time) that Canada has removed 41 diplomats and their 42 family members, from India over the ongoing row between the two countries.

This comes after India called for a reduction in Canadian diplomats in India, calling for 'parity', owing to the ongoing diplomatic row between the two nations.

Along with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marc Miller, the minister made the announcement about the development "on the situation with India" and how it will affect the level of service delivery Canada can offer following the withdrawal of diplomats.

She said, "There's no question that India's decision will impact the levels of services to citizens in both countries. Unfortunately, we have to put a pause on all in-person services in our consulates in Chandigarh, Mumbai and in Bangalore."

"Canadians who need consular assistance can still visit our High Commission in Delhi. And you can still also do that in person by phone and by email," she added.

(ANI)

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