The escalating political tensions between India and Canada is unlikely to hamper Canadian immigration and the visa process for Indian citizens. The political tension developed between the two countries post the G20 summit in India after the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. The current Canada government suspects the hand of Indian agencies behind the killing of its Canadian citizen which Indian authorities have categorically denied, resulting in diplomatic tension.
However, according to experts this issue is unlikely to snowball into a major one and halt Canadian journey aspirations for Indians. Both the countries have strong relations and such political tensions have arised in the past also but haven’t impacted the long-term relations between the two countries.
For operational reasons, India visa services from Canada have been paused by visa issuing authority BLS International. However, according to reports, the closure of visa services is a precautionary measure due to security risks amid protests in the country. Both the countries have issued travel advisories to their citizens which is also precautionary practice.
Flights to Canada from India are operational normally and ticket price from India to Canada is currently stable. There has been no effect on issuing Canadian visa from India. Immigration to Canada from Dubai has also increased and most applicants have been Indian expats.
Attractive destination for Immigration
Post-COVID, Canadian travelers to India have increased. Close to one lakh travelers from Canada to India visited in 2021 and 2022. For Indians, Canada remains an attractive destination for immigration. Indians topped the list of legal immigrants to Canada last year, with more than 118,000 becoming permanent residents in 2022. Canada Immigration is attractive due to various Canadian PR options. The North American country has also a lot to offer for Indian tourists, students and workers who come on non-immigrant visas or temporary residents.
Also, Indians currently living in Canada are safe and have nothing to be fearful about the current political situation, according to political commentators in the country. The recent escalation is unlikely to prolong and hamper the immigration dreams of Indian applicants to Canada for the following reasons.
- The North American country has a significant area, the second largest in the world, but native citizen’s population growth is minimal. Therefore, Canada needs immigrants for its population growth and economic development. Indians have dominated the international students and skilled immigrants list in the post-COVID era.
- The worldwide Canadian immigration applications were put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the country’s economy suffered a major hit. Canada welcomed a record over 405K immigrants in 2022 to combat the economic slumber. Indians topped the list and have widespread acceptance.
- The country has now made an ambitious immigration plan to attract 465K immigrants in 2023, 485K in 2024, and 500K in 2025. Any decision to halt processing Indian immigration applications can hugely derail IRCC’s (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) immigration plans.
- Many Canadian citizens are old or near retirement age, so the country always faces labour shortages, which will further escalate by 2030. Indian students and skilled migrants are in demand in Canada due to proficiency in English and higher qualifications in target sectors like Information Technology, medicine, and engineering.
- Canada has been among the top destinations for Indian students. More than 320K Indian students are studying in Canadian universities. Those students are a crucial part of the academic setup in Canada. They produce qualifications and language proficiency that match the Canadian standards to seek admission.
- Indians add value to the country, and many have become Canadian citizens due to their skills, behavior, and reputation. They adapt to the Canadian cultural setup and work culture fast. According to the latest census in 2021, 1.4 million residents of Indian descent are living in Canada.
In broader terms, experts feel the ongoing political tension is unlikely to affect the travel operations between the two countries. IRCC has picked pace in processing immigration applicants after a halt between January 2021 and July 2022. Most of the applicants for Canadian Immigration through Canada Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs, Rural Northern Immigration Programs, and Atlantic Immigration plans are from India, and any halt will derail the ambitious 2025 Canadian Immigration plans.