The ongoing diplomatic conflict between Canada and India has started to affect everyday people, particularly travelers. Visa services for Canadians planning to visit India have been suspended by the Indian government, causing uncertainty and frustration among those with travel plans.
In this article, we’ll break down the key points and what you need to know about this situation.
Visa Service Suspension
The Indian government has decided to halt visa services for Canadian citizens.
This suspension has caused disruptions in the processing of visas, particularly at centers like BLS International. This is the place where most Canadians apply for their Indian visas.
Impact on Travel Plans of Travelers
If you’re a Canadian with plans to visit India, whether it’s for a family wedding, a festival like Diwali, or even medical services, you might be feeling the heat. The suspension of visa services has put your travel plans in jeopardy.
Many individuals are worried about the delay in processing their visas. This delay can lead to uncertainty and stress for those who have important trips ahead.
Manbir Singh, is trying to get his paperwork squared away before travelling to India for family weddings in November and January said the CBC News.
“It’s a very complex situation, but if we cannot travel, we are the ones who are going to suffer, not the diplomats,”Manbir Singh Told CBC News
Imagine waiting in line at a visa application center, uncertain about the fate of your travel plans. That’s the reality for many Canadians right now, and it’s causing frustration.
The uncertainty surrounding the visa status has left travelers feeling distraught and anxious. Not knowing whether they’ll be able to make their planned trips is taking a toll on their emotional well-being.
Indian Diaspora Stranded
The Indian diaspora refers to people of Indian origin who live outside India. In Canada, there is a significant Indian diaspora.
Immigration lawyer Raj Sharma points out that the Indian diaspora in Canada is effectively stranded due to the visa suspension. This means that many people who have strong ties to India are unable to travel there.
This conflict isn’t just affecting personal travel; it’s also impacting tourism, business, trade, and international study between the two countries.
Immigration lawyer Raj Sharma told CBC News that:
“Whenever we deal with international disputes, it’s the ordinary people who find themselves caught in the crossfire.”
“That diaspora is now stranded in Canada.”Immigration lawyer Raj Sharma
Background on the Conflict
Tensions between Canada and India escalated when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that the Indian government was involved in the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader on Canadian soil in June.
The assassination victim, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, had been involved in a group supporting the creation of an independent Sikh homeland in northern India called Khalistan. This issue has divided Hindu nationalists and Sikh separatists for decades.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs cited safety concerns faced by Indian diplomatic missions in Canada as the reason for the visa suspension.
However, the ministry did not provide specific details about the threats or incidents that led to this decision.
In 2021, around 80,000 Canadian tourists visited India, making them the fourth-largest group of tourists to India.
The suspension of visa services has not only affected Canadians planning to travel to India but also has implications for India’s tourism industry, which relies on international visitors.
The diplomatic conflict between Canada and India is not just a matter of political disputes; it is affecting ordinary people, particularly travelers. If you are a Canadian with plans to visit India, it’s crucial to stay informed about the situation and keep in touch with relevant authorities for updates on visa services.
We understand that it’s a challenging time for the Indian diaspora in Canada and anyone with travel plans to India. The uncertainty and delays can be frustrating, but patience and staying informed are essential during these uncertain times.