India has restarted e-visa services for Canadian tourists after a nearly two-month suspension, following a diplomatic dispute involving allegations by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
E-Visas for Canadian Tourists to India Resume
India has started issuing e-visas for Canadian tourists and business people again. This decision comes two months after these services were stopped. The suspension was in response to Canada's claim that the Indian government might have been involved in the murder of a Canadian Sikh separatist leader.
According to Reuters, an Indian government official, who chose to stay anonymous, confirmed the resumption of e-visas for Canadian tourists. However, this official did not comment on whether this move will significantly warm up the relationship with Canada.
Currently, India is only offering e-visas to Canadian nationals for tourism and business purposes. This development follows India's decision last month to restart issuing visas in four of the 13 categories that were halted in September.
Relations between India and Canada worsened after Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, reported in parliament about possible links between Indian government agents and the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Nijjar, 45, was killed in a suburb of Vancouver. He supported the long-standing but now marginal cause for an independent Sikh state called Khalistan.
This diplomatic tension has brought attention to the issue of e-visas for Canadian tourists, showing how international relations and travel policies are closely linked. As India and Canada go through this tough time, the status of visa policies, especially e-visas for Canadian tourists, is being closely watched.
The halt in several visa categories, including e-visas for Canadian tourists, came at a notable time. The Hindustan Times reported that it happened just before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined the G20 Leaders' Summit virtually. This event was important because it was the first time Trudeau would meet, even if only online, with Indian Prime Minister Modi after the relationship between India and Canada became strained.
The tension increased after Canada's recent accusations against India. On November 12, Trudeau repeated his claims of India's involvement in Nijjar's death and accused India of wrongly expelling many Canadian diplomats. India's response to these claims came from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Speaking at an event in London, he denied any Indian involvement in the incident and said Canada had not provided any evidence to support their claims. Jaishankar also talked about his discussions with Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, saying India is open to an investigation if Canada can show evidence. So far, Canada has not provided such evidence.
This situation has made the issue of e-visas for Canadian tourists a key topic. The way these two nations handle their relationship will be important in deciding the future of such visa policies.
India has revolutionized its visa system with the introduction of e-visas, simplifying entry for tourists and business visitors from over 160 countries. The new electronic visa system allows applicants to complete the entire process online - from filling out the application form to document upload and fee payment. E-visas are primarily available in multiple categories, including tourist and business visas, making India more accessible for international travelers.
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