As the ongoing dispute between Canada and India slowed visa processing for India, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirmed that the situation cannot return to normal until early 2024.
Last week, 41 of the 62 Canadian diplomats in India were deported along with their families. Subsequently, Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller mentioned that the move would impact visa processing services in the country.
IRCC said in a statement that a reduction in Canadian diplomatic staff in India could lead to delays for Indian citizens in various services such as visa processing and passport issuance.
The statement also said: “The revocation of diplomatic privileges and immunities violates international law and this action taken by India is inappropriate and escalatory.” India had accredited each of the Canadian diplomats they are now expelling, despite all their duties in in good faith and for the greater benefit of both countries.”
However, IRCC assured that staff in Canada would take on the necessary tasks.
How big is the expected backlog?
Senior IRCC officials said, as CIC News reported, that staffing shortages in India will likely lead to a backlog of 17,500 “final decisions” across Canada’s immigration system in the next two months.
Which operations will be affected?
Currently, all in-person services at consulates are suspended until further notice. However, IRCC will continue to accept and process applications from India. Certain application requirements must be met locally or on-site in a secure environment.
As a result, the downsizing of the IRCC team in India will impact service standards for residents of India. The team will be reduced from 27 to just five.
The remaining IRCC staff in India will focus on work that requires a presence in the country, such as: Such as urgent processing, visa printing, risk assessment and monitoring of key partners, including visa application centers, contracted doctors and clinics that carry out immigration medical examinations. The rest of the work and personnel will be distributed across IRCC’s global processing network, the CIC News report said.
When can the situation return to normal?
The government hopes that visa processing in India cannot return to normal until “early 2024”.
To achieve this, 22 immigration staff withdrawn from India will be redeployed and doing their jobs in Canada and the Philippines.
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