Tourists detained in a visa dispute between India and Canada : All you should know

Since India declared that it will stop providing Canadian nationals with visa services, the phone at a tourism agency in Vancouver hasn’t stopped ringing.

India detained tourists in a visa dispute amid controversies with Canada

According to Radhika Sharma, who works for Explore India, a company that arranges trips to the nation, many who intend to travel in the upcoming months are concerned about what the ban will entail for them.

As long as they have a valid visa, Ms. Sharma said, “travelers should be fine,” but for those who haven’t applied yet, “we’re not sure if they will get it or not.”

Numerous issues have surfaced in response to India’s declaration on Thursday that it had suspended the issuance of visas to Canadian residents due to staff safety concerns. One of these issues is travel-related.

Canada's PM Justin Trudeau
(Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau)

The action came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India in public of perhaps being responsible for the killing of a Sikh separatist on Canadian soil. The claim has been labeled as “absurd” by India.

According to tourist data, Canada is one of the top five source countries for international visitors to India, with more than 80,000 Canadians expected to visit that country in 2021.

The visa ban has less of an impact on the 1.86 million people of Indian heritage who live in Canada, despite the fact that some claim it has caused them to wonder about their future in the nation.

Ms. Sharma and other people with Indian citizenship can still travel there without restriction. The same is true for Canadian citizens who possess an Overseas Citizenship of India card, which enables lifetime entrance into India for Indian nationals who reside outside of the country.

The problem is not with entering India; those with valid visas and other travel authorizations, such as OCIs, are free to do so. Rather, the problem is with inciting violence and creating an atmosphere that interferes with the operations of our high commission and consulates, according to Arindam Bagchi, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

The recent tensions between the two countries, according to Ms. Sharma, a Canadian student who is also a student, have her rethinking her long-term ambitions.

Many students who are making plans for the future and hoping to obtain permanent residency in Canada are under stress and are second-guessing their choice, according to Ms. Sharma.

She stated that she is concerned about how the rift would affect her ability to remain in Canada in the upcoming years. She worries that it might prevent her from going to India to see her family in the future or the opposite.

canada immigrants population: Immigrants make up largest share of Canada's  population in country's history; India takes top spot among newcomers
(Percentage of Indian Migrants in Canada)

There is a sizable Indo-Canadian community in Canada with strong ties to India. Indian nationals top the list of immigrants in Canada, making it a popular alternative for those wishing to study abroad.

At a news conference on Thursday, Mr. Trudeau gave a hint that Canada was not preparing to respond with a similar action on visas, saying that he was not intending for his accusation to incite India.

However, the division raises concerns about the two nations’ potential economic relations in the future.

Indian-born Canadian Hemant Shah, who has resided in Canada for 49 years, expressed concern over the implications of the dispute on trade and commercial connections.

According to Mr. Shah, a Winnipeg resident, “there are many Canadian companies operating in India.” “I would be sobbing if I worked in a business that was affected.”

Canadians with visas who are unsure if it is still safe to travel to India have called Explore India, according to Ms. Sharma, who works there.

She claimed to have reassured individuals that, in spite of any political unrest, local Indians are prepared to welcome Canadian tourists.

Despite India issuing a travel warning to its citizens advising “utmost caution” before visiting the country in North America, she claimed she feels safe there as well.

The relationship between India and Canada is important to us, Ms. Sharma said.

“People come up here to build careers, for options, and opportunities, and we want to maintain the harmony between the two countries.”

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