India visa processing back to normal by early 2024: IRCC

The key to this recovery is the reintegration of 22 immigration staff members who were relocated from India and are expected to resume their work in Canada and the Philippines.

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Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada is expecting a return to normal processing times for Indian visa applications by early 2024 amid ongoing disruptions. 

In a press conference on Oct. 19, Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller acknowledged the current slowdown in processing Indian visa applications due to the ongoing Canada-India dispute. He also reiterated the important role played by newcomers from India and assured that IRCC remains committed to welcoming them.

Senior officials from IRCC, who briefed Canadian stakeholders, project a potential backlog of 17,500 “final decisions” within Canada’s global immigration system over the next two months due to a reduction in staff stationed in India, the CIC News reported. However, the government is determined to return to normal processing by early 2024.

The key to this recovery is the reintegration of 22 immigration staff members who were relocated from India and are expected to resume their work in Canada and the Philippines, the report said.

A significant development in the Canada-India diplomatic tension is India’s decision to revoke immunities for all but 21 Canadian diplomats and their dependents in New Delhi by Oct. 20, potentially stripping 41 Canadian diplomats and 42 dependents of their diplomatic privileges.

IRCC has strongly criticized India’s actions, considering them a violation of international law and an escalatory measure. They argued that the Canadian diplomats were accredited by India and were dedicated to the mutual benefit of both nations.

As a result, IRCC is temporarily suspending all in-person services at Consulates until further notice. However, the organization will continue to accept and process applications from India, with certain application requirements being completed locally or on-site in a secure environment.

The reduction in the size of the IRCC team in India, from 27 to just five members, is expected to affect service standards for Indian residents. 

The remaining staff in India will focus on tasks that require a physical presence in the country, such as urgent processing, visa printing, risk assessment, and oversight of key partners, including visa application centers, panel physicians, and immigration medical examination clinics. The remaining workload and staff will be redistributed across IRCC’s global processing network.

To mitigate the impact on visa processing, IRCC is planning to adjust the workload for Visa Application Centers, which already handle the majority of Indian applications. 

As VACs are operated by third-party entities, they will continue to operate as usual, providing administrative support, passport submission, and biometric services to applicants.

Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos has been a professional journalist for five years now. She has contributed and covered stories for premier Philippine dailies and publications, and has traveled to different parts of the country to capture and tell the most significant stories happening.

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Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos has been a professional journalist for five years now. She has contributed and covered stories for premier Philippine dailies and publications, and has traveled to different parts of the country to capture and tell the most significant stories happening.

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