The Consulate General of India in Toronto announced the extension of essential consular services for Indian nationals residing in Canada on Friday (September 22). These services include passport issuance, passport renewal, police clearance certificates, and attestation, among others, as reaffirmed in a tweet by the Consulate General. This move is expected to facilitate and assist Indian citizens in their consular needs while residing in Canada.
“Consular services for Indian nationals in Canada, e.g. Passport issuance, Passport renewal, Police Clearance Certificate, Attestation etc. continue to be extended,” tweets the Consulate General of India, Toronto pic.twitter.com/A20oZieK8j
— ANI (@ANI) September 22, 2023
Despite a looming diplomatic crisis, the Canadian High Commission and consulates in India remain open. Visa services for Canadian citizens, however, have been suspended, and both countries have advised citizens not to travel at this time.
“Important notice from the Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, Indian visa services have been suspended with effect from 21 September until further notice,” said BLS, an online visa application centre.
The notice was posted on the official website of the BLS Indian Visa Application Centre in Canada on Thursday afternoon before being temporarily removed. The agency handles visa applications for India.
Meanwhile, the Canadian High Commission stated that it was still open and serving clients. Global Affairs Canada, which manages Canada’s diplomatic and consular relations, stated that it was constantly monitoring the safety and security of “our missions and personnel as we maintain a strict security protocol to respond to any events.”
“In light of the current environment of heightened tensions, we are taking steps to ensure the safety of our diplomats. Global Affairs Canada is assessing its staff in India after some diplomats received threats on various social media platforms,” it added.
Relations between India and Canada deteriorated earlier this week after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that they had credible reasons to believe ‘agents of the Indian government’ were responsible for the death of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. In June of this year, the designated terrorist was gunned down outside a Gurdwara.