India Restarts E-Visa Services for Canadian Citizens

Earlier in September, the Indian Mission in Canada suspended visa services for Canadian nationals citing operational reasons.

India Restarts E-Visa Services for Canadian Citizens

In September, the Indian Mission in Canada halted visa services for Canadian nationals, attributing it to operational reasons. This decision followed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's unfounded insinuations regarding a potential Indian involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a pro-Khalistani figure in Surrey, British Columbia.

Suspension of Services:

  • Date: Visa services were suspended on September 21.
  • Reason: Suspension was triggered by allegations made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of a "potential" Indian link in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Partial Resumption in October:

  • Date: In October, India resumed visa services in certain categories for Canadian citizens.
  • Excluded Categories: Tourist, employment, student, film, missionary, and journalist visas were excluded from the resumed services.

Full Resumption Ahead of G20 Leaders' Summit:

  • Date: The resumption of services for all categories of visas comes hours ahead of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's participation in the virtual G20 Leaders' Summit on November 22.
  • Significance: This marks the first interaction between Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Modi, albeit virtually, since the strained relations between the two countries.

Allegations by Trudeau:

  • Claim: Trudeau alleged a "potential" Indian link in the killing of pro-Khalistani figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
  • Evidence: India dismissed the charge as "absurd" and "motivated," emphasizing Trudeau has not provided any evidence of India’s involvement in the killing.
  • Recent Accusations: On November 12, Trudeau reiterated the accusation and accused India of violating the Vienna Convention.

India's Response:

  • Investigation Offer: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar asserted that India is not ruling out an investigation into Canada’s accusation.
  • Lack of Evidence: Jaishankar highlighted that Canada has yet to provide evidence to back its claim.
  • Request for Evidence: India has urged Canada to share any evidence supporting the allegations.

This development follows a period of heightened tensions and diplomatic exchanges between India and Canada, with the resumption of India e-visa services signaling a potential thaw in relations. The ongoing dispute underscores the importance of evidence-backed claims in diplomatic discourse.


Is India issuing e visas now for Canada?

Yes, India has eased restrictions and resumed various visa services for Canadian nationals, including entry, business, medical, and conference visas. 

Are all visa services now available for Canadian travelers to India?

As of the recent announcement, electronic visa services for Canadians have been restored. However, for comprehensive details on the availability of all visa services, it's recommended to check with the official Indian authorities or consulate for the latest updates.

How can Canadian nationals apply for an electronic visa to India?

Canadian nationals can apply for an electronic visa through the official website or consulate of the Indian government. The application process typically involves submitting the required documents and fees online.

Why were visa services suspended for Canadian citizens by India?

India temporarily suspended visa services for Canadians due to safety and security concerns for its diplomats in Canada, which hindered the assessment and processing of visas.

What led to the resumption of e-visa services for Canadians?

The situation in Canada was deemed more secure or improved, allowing India to progressively resume visa services. Some categories of visas were restored earlier, and now the e-visa services have been reinstated for eligible Canadian citizens.

Is the resumption of e-visa services seen as a positive step in resolving the diplomatic conflict?

Yes, it's being perceived as a major de-escalatory move by India, even though Trudeau's allegations haven't been withdrawn. However, this action is seen as a potential "door-opener" for improving relations.