Study abroad consultants say that the Canada visa processing will take more time, likely around 45 days, due to a shortage of manpower
Pritha Roy Choudhury | October 23, 2023 | 06:15 PM IST
NEW DELHI: Study abroad consultants asking students aspiring to go to Canada for higher studies not to panic as visas are being processed but taking longer.
Three Canadian consulates in India – Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai – have temporarily paused their services due to a shortage of manpower from October 20 after Canada recalled a large number of their staff.
“Visas are still going on; Canada visa applications are still in progress. One can apply for a visa”, said Alankar Shrivastav, director of Aar Education, Private Ltd, a registered immigration consultant based in Delhi.
Work at the three consulates has been temporarily put on hold after 41 diplomats were recalled. Only 21 diplomats are presently working in India. Also, the visa facilitation service (VFS) centre of the Chandigarh consulate is closed only for interviews.
“Interviews do not happen for either study visa or work visa or PR for permanent residents. Interviews are conducted for some special cases only,” added Shrivastava.
“We are getting calls from students who are concerned or weary of what is happening as they are unable to get the right picture but we are telling them that there is no need to worry. Only the process is getting delayed because of shortage of staff but applications are being accepted”, added Srivastava.
Students need to be vigilant and plan, said Ravinder Gehlot, director of operations, Sizzling Career, Delhi. A visa process which used to take around 20 to 25 days previously will take more than a month now, he said.
“The only thing that has happened is that the time gap has increased. Previously it used to take 20 to 25 days, now it will be taking more than one month which is around 35 to 40 days. These things keep happening. Some students are concerned, many are not, as they faced the same situation during the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gehlot.
The situation was normal in the past six months. The overseas education consultants say that this kind of political standoff keeps happening and these are temporary.
The Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, last month accused India of being involved in the murder of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. An Indian diplomat was expelled next. India retaliated by expelling a Canadian diplomat and suspending visa services for Canadians.
India had also asked Canada to bring down the number of diplomats in India. Canada withdrew 41 diplomats from India on October 21, 2023.
Earlier, a study-abroad tour was postponed due to this situation.
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