Ever since the triggering of diplomatic tensions between India and Canada following the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Indians, including those who are seeking Canadian student visas, find themselves in limbo.
Now, as India has reportedly asked Canada to withdraw approximately 40 diplomats by October 10, anxiety among Indians seeking Canadian visas has increased further.
India-Canada relations sour
The relations between the two nations deteriorated after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that security agencies have “reason to believe” that agents “linked to the government of India” were responsible for the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia on June 18.
Following this allegation, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced the expulsion of an Indian diplomat from the country.
In retaliation, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat and vehemently denied any involvement in Nijjar’s killing.
Subsequently, India suspended visa services for Canadians indefinitely.
Anxiety grips Indians seeking Canadian visas
As diplomatic tensions rise between the two nations, individuals applying for or awaiting approval of Canadian student, PR, or any other visas are experiencing anxiety and fear regarding their future.
While those Indians who had been planning to enroll in Canadian universities for the next intake are now considering alternative study abroad options, other visa seekers are in wait-and-watch mode.
With the new report claiming that India asked Canada to withdraw diplomats, anxiety has further heightened as the reduced staff at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi and Consulates in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, and Mumbai will likely result in delays in processing a high volume of visa applications.
It remains to be seen whether the escalating diplomatic tension will impact the issuance of Canadian visas to Indians.