Canada Keeps its Doors Open: Visa Processing for Indian Nationals in Full Swing
Canada-India dispute over Sikh leader's killing. Canada accuses the Indian government of involvement, which India denies. Visa services are affected, but Immigration Minister Marc Miller emphasizes Indian immigrant safety and Canada’s efforts to maintain immigration targets.
A recent diplomatic rift between Canada and India has strained their bilateral relationship. The dispute arose when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi disagreed over the assassination of a prominent Canadian-Sikh leader in British Columbia.
Trudeau asserts that there is credible intelligence suggesting the involvement of Indian government agents in the killing, while Modi denies these allegations.
Consequently, on Thursday, September 21, BLS - the company responsible for India's visa processing centres in Canada, suspended its services, citing operational reasons. This suspension included the centres in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver.
However, there has been no such indication or any intention conveyed by the Canadian government to stop processing visas for Indian nationals, and continues to accept new applications as usual.
Visa processing times for Indian applicants remain unchanged, with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) striving to meet 80% of applications within service standards for all applicants regardless of nationality.
Marc Miller Addresses Indies Anxiety: Canada is a Safe Haven for Indians
Despite India's travel advisory for Indians traveling to Canada due to safety concerns, Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller, during an interview with the Canadian Press appealed to Indians who may be anxious about their safety in Canada to stay composed, emphasizing Canada's reputation as a safe country
- Canada consistently ranks among the world's safest nations, as indicated by the recent Global Peace Index, which placed Canada 11th for 2023.
- A 2022 report by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) highlighted Canada's appeal to international students due to its safety and tolerance.
- In 2022, 40% of international students in Canada were Indian, despite a similar warning from India's government in September 2022.
- According to IRCC, there were 800,000 international students in Canada in 2022, with approximately 320,000 of them being Indian students.
Indian Immigrants in Canada
India serves as the largest source/origin country for immigration to Canada. Out of 118,095 Indians gaining permanent residence in Canada in 2022, 59,503 Indians transitioned from permanent residents to Canadian citizens.
Canada has set ambitious immigration goals outlined in the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, aiming to welcome over 500,000 permanent residents annually by the conclusion of 2025. Although the next plan is anticipated to be unveiled by November 1 this year, Minister Miller has expressed his belief that the targets are unlikely to be reduced.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is Canada a safe destination for Indian citizens?
Canada is considered a safe and secure country for individuals from various backgrounds, including Indian citizens. A recent report by U.S. News & World Report even ranks Canada as the third safest country globally, following only Switzerland and Sweden.
Q2. Is the quality of life favorable in Canada?
Yes, Canada offers a high quality of life. According to the latest OECD Better Life Index, Canada excels in various aspects, including life satisfaction, income, job opportunities, education, healthcare, environmental factors, and social connections.
Q3. What is the population of Indian-origin people in Canada?
Canada's Indian ethnic and cultural community comprises approximately 1.4 million individuals, representing about 3.7% of the country's total population.
Q4. Which city in Canada has the highest Indian population?
Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is home to the highest concentration of the Indian population in the country.
Q5. Which Canadian city is considered the safest for Indians?
Among Canadian cities, Quebec is renowned as the safest for Indians, boasting the lowest crime rate.