The information you provided pertains to issues faced by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in processing visa applications from India due to a reduction in staff and diplomatic tensions between Canada and India. Here’s a summary of the key points:
- Visa Application Processing Delays: The IRCC was originally planning to process 38,000 visas for Indians by December. However, due to a reduction in staff and other challenges in India, they will only be able to process 20,000 applications. This will result in slower processing times, responses to inquiries, and the return of visas or passports.
- Backlog of Applications: As a result of the delays, IRCC expects to have approximately 17,500 Indian applications in backlog at the beginning of 2024. An application is considered in backlog when it has not been processed within service standards.
- Service Standards: IRCC has specific service standards for different types of applications. For example, an international student visa from outside Canada should be processed within 60 days, a family-class sponsorship application within 12 months, and an Express Entry application within six months.
- Temporary Suspension of In-Person Services: In-person services at Canadian consulates in India have been temporarily suspended due to a reduction in staff resulting from the expulsion of 41 Canadian diplomats. However, applications from India will continue to be accepted and processed, with certain requirements being completed locally or on-site in a secure environment.
- IRCC Staff in India: Only five IRCC staff members remain in India to focus on essential in-country tasks, including urgent processing, visa printing, risk assessment, and oversight of key partners like visa application centers, panel physicians, and immigration medical exam clinics.
- Normalization Expected by 2024: Senior IRCC officials state that the government aims to return to normal processing for Indian applications by early 2024. The 22 immigration staff who were pulled from India will resume work in Canada and the Philippines.
- Diplomatic Issues: The slowdown in visa processing is attributed to ongoing diplomatic tensions between Canada and India, notably concerning the assassination of a Sikh leader in Canada and allegations of involvement by agents of the Indian government. This has led to the closure of visa processing centers in Canada and the expulsion of Canadian diplomats from India.
Despite these challenges, there is hope on the horizon. The commitment of the IRCC to normalize processing by 2024 is a positive sign for applicants. As immigration staff returns to their roles in Canada and the Philippines, we can anticipate improvements in processing times. It’s essential for visa applicants to stay informed, follow updates from both the Canadian and Indian governments, and be prepared for potential changes in the application process. We at Swift Immigration will continue to watch these developments closely and keep you updated as the situation evolves. The world of immigration is ever-changing, and staying informed is your best ally in navigating this complex process.