India suspends visa service operations in Canada until further notice: BLS International

BLS International, an online visa application center, said on Thursday, September 21, that the Indian Mission in Canada has suspended Indian visa services in Canada until further notice but less than an hour later, the platform posted on its website Notification removed.

“Important Notice from Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, effective September 21, 2023, Indian visa services are suspended until further notice. Please keep checking the BLS website for further updates,” Visa The consultancy services firm said. The notification is no longer available on the website.

CNBC-TV18 has reached out to BLS International on the matter, and is awaiting a response.

The earlier notification meant that those wishing to come to India from Canada would not be able to avail visa services until further notice.

It should be noted that platforms like BLS International only provide visa services, not visas. BLS also clarifies that it does not provide Canadian visas and that it works directly with embassies.

BLS International’s notice comes against the backdrop of an escalating diplomatic row between India and Canada over the killing of a Khalistani separatist leader in that country.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of the “possible” involvement of Indian government agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Najjar in June sparked a diplomatic row with India, calling the allegations “ridiculous” and “outrageous”. “Declared rejected.

India also expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a move to expel an Indian official from Ottawa.

It should be noted that Canada has a large population of Indians. According to Canada’s 2021 census, people of Indian origin make up about 3.7 percent of the country’s population. Sikh-Canadians make up about 2 percent.

There are about 800,000 international students in Canada, 40 percent of whom are from India, according to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

On September 20, India asked all its citizens living in Canada and those planning to travel there to exercise “extreme caution” in view of rising anti-India activities and “politically excusable” hate crimes in the North American country. are

In a strongly worded advisory, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi cited “threats” targeting Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the “anti-Indian agenda” and asked Indian citizens to That they avoid traveling. Areas and possible locations in Canada that have seen such incidents.

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