Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly has recently announced the suspension of all visa and consular services at consulates in the Indian cities of Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bangalore. This decision came out on Thursday, 19th of October 2023.
Also, this implies that these services are now only available at the Canadian High Commission in Delhi. The Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bangalore consulates also lack human resources as 27 Immigration Department staff members are withdrawn back to Canada by the country officials.
The confirmation came from the foreign minister stating, “Unfortunately, we have to put a pause on all in-person services in our Consulates in Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bangalore.”
Impact of the Decision
Reportedly, there are 17,500 Canadian visa applications currently pending in the Chandigarh, Bangalore, and Mumbai Embassies. This decision is bound to create a backlog of applications. Moreover, it will overcrowd the Canadian High Commission in Delhi but as Canada does not plan to reduce the number of temporary and permanent residence applications, their alternate strategies might prove useful.
Canada Might Have an Alternative Strategy
A Canadian immigration lawyer Richard Kurland suggested that Canadian officials in other countries can take over the pending applications through the provision of an online system. Therefore, there is a possibility that these applications will be directed to alternative locations.
Moreover, ten visa application centers in India are operated by third-party contractors. These Canadian centers will continue to work and process applications as usual.
What Should Indian Students Do?
Indian students can still apply to study in Canada. It is advised to submit their visa applications earlier in this scenario as it will take longer to get a decision on your study permit. Those who have already submitted their visa applications can check the status of their application online on the IRCC application status tracker.
Students should also connect with their universities to inform them about the delay they might face in visa and study permit approval. Also, keeping track of guidelines released by the universities for Indian students is important.
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