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Business News/ News / World/  India-Canada standoff: India extends passport and consular services for its citizens in Canada
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India-Canada standoff: India extends passport and consular services for its citizens in Canada

The Consulate General of India in Toronto has extended consular services for Indian nationals in Canada.

Visa applicants wait outside for a walk-in appointment outside a BLS International visa application center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. Canada said it would reduce the number of diplomats in India due to security concerns, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government appeared to suspend visas for Canadians, as a diplomatic row escalated over the murder of a Sikh activist. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg (Bloomberg)Premium
Visa applicants wait outside for a walk-in appointment outside a BLS International visa application center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. Canada said it would reduce the number of diplomats in India due to security concerns, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government appeared to suspend visas for Canadians, as a diplomatic row escalated over the murder of a Sikh activist. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg (Bloomberg)

The Consulate General of India in Toronto has expanded its consular services for Indian citizens in Canada. These extended services encompass passport issuance, attestation, police clearance certificate issuance, and passport renewal.

In a post shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Consulate General of India in Toronto stated, "Consular services for Indian nationals in Canada, e.g. Passport issuance, Passport renewal, Police Clearance Certificate, Attestation etc. continue to be extended."

Also Read: India-Canada row LIVE updates: ‘Indian govt should cooperate in investigation,’ says US

Earlier on September 20, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a cautionary advisory to Indian citizens, particularly students in Canada and those intending to visit the country, due to the recent tensions in bilateral relations between India and Canada.

Also Read: India suspends visa services in Canada citing ‘operational reasons’

As per a statement released by the MEA on Wednesday, Indian citizens and Indian students residing in Canada are encouraged to refrain from visiting areas and locations within Canada that have witnessed an increase in anti-India activities.

"​In view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution. Recently, threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda," MEA said in the press release. 

The MEA has emphasized that Indian nationals and students in Canada should complete the registration process with either the High Commission of India in Ottawa or the Consulates General of India in Toronto and Vancouver. This registration can be done through their official websites or the MADAD portal at madad.gov.in. This registration is crucial as it would enhance the ability of the High Commission and Consulates General to establish effective communication with Indian citizens in Canada in case of any emergency or adverse situation.

Also Read: India-Canada tensions: ‘Deeply concerned...critical that probe proceeds’ says Antony Blinken

"Given the deteriorating security environment in Canada, Indian students in particular are advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant," MEA said in the press release. 

These developments have occurred in the context of escalating tensions between India and Canada. This escalation began when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on Monday, made allegations against the Indian government, suggesting its involvement in the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Nijjar, who was designated as a terrorist by the Indian government, was fatally shot in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, on June 18.

On Tuesday, India rejected the allegations of the Canadian PM calling them 'absurd' and 'motivated'. This was followed by the expulsion of a senior Canadian diplomat from India. 

Also Read: India-Canada News Highlights: India desists issuing new visas for Canadians

“We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister,"  MEA said in an official statement.

“Allegations of the Indian government’s “involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated" the release added.

MEA said in the press release, “Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister and were completely rejected."

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published: 23 Sep 2023, 08:09 AM IST
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