HomeNationIndia Clarifies Visa Status for Students in Canada Amid Diplomatic Standoff

India Clarifies Visa Status for Students in Canada Amid Diplomatic Standoff

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Amid the ongoing diplomatic standoff between India and Canada, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in India issued a significant clarification during a press conference on Thursday, stating that students residing in Canada with valid Indian visas or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status are welcome to travel to India without any visa-related issues.

The MEA emphasized that “there is no Indian visa issue for Indian students in Canada,” providing a sense of relief to the Indian student community in Canada.

This announcement comes in the wake of India’s decision to temporarily suspend the issuance of visas to Canadian citizens, as indicated by a notice from BLS International, a private agency responsible for the initial scrutiny of visa applications. The notice cited “operational reasons” for the suspension of Indian visa services for Canadian nationals “till further notice.”

The diplomatic rift between India and Canada escalated following allegations made by Ottawa that suggested the involvement of Indian agents in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a pro-Khalistan Sikh activist designated as a terrorist in India. The Indian government categorically dismissed these allegations as “absurd and motivated.”

Notably, it remains unclear whether the suspension of Indian visas for Canadian citizens is directly related to this diplomatic dispute.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heightened tensions by asserting that the Indian government was behind the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The incident occurred outside a Gurdwara in Canada’s Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. Nijjar, who was also the president of Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, was a designated terrorist in India.

During a debate in the Canadian Parliament, Prime Minister Trudeau claimed that Canada’s national security officials had credible reasons to believe that “agents of the Indian government” were responsible for the killing of the Canadian citizen.

In response, the Ministry of External Affairs in India issued a statement rejecting the allegations made by the Canadian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. The statement asserted, “Allegations of the Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated.”

As the diplomatic dispute continues to unfold, the clarification from the MEA regarding Indian visas for students in Canada offers some clarity amidst the uncertainty surrounding travel between the two nations.


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