India suspends Visa Services for Canadians

India suspends Visa Services for Canadians

Why in News:

  • Amid the growing controversy over the recent killing of a Sikh separatist in Canada, India has stopped issuing visas to Canadian citizens.

Background:                       

  • The current crisis began after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged a possible link between the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada in June and agents of the Indian government.
  • Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat, and India responded by expelling a senior Canadian diplomat.

India suspends Visa Services for Canadians Current Affairs Images

Background of Khalistan Movement:

  • This movement originated due to the independence of India and subsequent partition on religious lines.
  • Due to this partition, Lahore, the capital of the Sikh Empire of King Ranjit Singh, came under the control of Pakistan. Apart from this, many holy Sikh sites including Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, also came under the jurisdiction of Pakistan.
  • The Khalistan movement is a separate fight for a sovereign Sikh state in present-day Punjab (both India and Pakistan).

India and Canada relations (in terms of trade and agriculture):

  • India’s total trade with Canada in the last financial year (2022-23) was $8 billion. This is 0.7% ($1.1 trillion) of India’s total trade with the world.
  • In 2022-23, imports and exports between India and Canada were almost equal ($4 billion imports vs $4 billion exports), although India achieved a trade surplus of $58 million, which was very small.
  • Among all the goods that India imports from Canada, three categories of goods are prominent: Mineral fuels, mineral oils and their related products; bituminous substances; Mineral wax etc., 2. Wood or other fibrous cellulosic material; Waste and scrap of paper or paperboard, 3. Edible vegetables and related materials.

Effect of suspension visa:

  • Canadian citizens who wish to visit India but do not yet have an Indian visa will be affected.
  • This affected group will primarily include Canadian tourists, business travelers and students.
  • Tour operators in India were expecting a large number of tourist arrivals from Canada this winter season, as in 2021, Canada has the fourth highest number of tourist arrivals in India in the world.

Regarding OCI Card:

  • Canadians of Indian origin who hold a valid Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, or a valid long-term visa for India, will not be affected by the suspension of visa services.
  • OCI card allows holders to enter India for life and stay and work in the country indefinitely.
  • Canadian citizens with valid Indian visas will not be affected by the latest decision of the Government of India.

Some important facts related to Canada:

  • Canada became independent from Great Britain in
  • Canada is the second largest country in the world in area after Russia.
  • Its passport comes among the 10 most powerful passports in the world.
  • Like India, Canada also has no state religion, that is, it is secular.

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