India suspended visa services in Canada in September 2023 due to concerns over the safety and security of Indian diplomats. However, there may be hope for the resumption of these services, as External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar expressed his willingness to do so, provided that Indian diplomats are guaranteed safety in Canada in accordance with the Vienna Convention.
When Will India Resume Visa Services In Canada?
A few weeks ago, India suspended the issuance of visas in Canada due to concerns about the safety and security of its diplomats. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says India is willing to resume visa services if it sees progress on this issue.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Speaks Out
On Sunday, October 22, 2023, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India is prepared to resume visa services in Canada, but only if the safety and security of Indian diplomats are ensured in accordance with the Vienna Convention.
The minister stated, “Our people are not safe; our diplomats are not safe. So if we see progress there, I would like very much to resume the issuance of visas. My hope would be that it would be something that should happen very soon.”
Conditions to Resume Visa Services in Canada
Jaishankar said that India stopped issuing visas in Canada because it was no longer safe for Indian diplomats to go to work. He said that India is willing to resume visa services if it sees progress on the issue of diplomat safety.
Challenging Times in India-Canada Relations
S. Jaishankar also acknowledged the strained relationship between India and Canada, characterizing it as a “difficult phase.” He was quick to clarify that the problems India faced were primarily with a particular segment of Canadian politics and the policies that stemmed from it.
This statement comes after Canada withdrew 41 of its diplomats from India, leaving only the Canadian High Commission in Delhi to handle visa and consular services.
Diplomatic Spat over Staffing
In September, India requested Canada to reduce the number of its diplomatic staff in the country. India’s argument was centred on achieving a balanced number of diplomats posted in both countries. The number of Canadian diplomats in Delhi greatly exceeded the number of Indian diplomats in Ottawa.
It is unclear when India will resume visa services in Canada. However, Jaishankar’s statement suggests that India is willing to resume visa services if it sees progress on the issue of diplomat safety.