Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is reducing its number of employees in India from 27 to five.
- Tensions between the two countries have escalated since September, and the Canadian government’s latest announcement confirms that this reduction in staff is directly related to the Indian government’s recent decision to remove certain immunities for Canadian diplomats and demand parity in diplomatic staffing.
- India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that “the state of our bilateral relations, the much higher number of Canadian diplomats in India, and their continued interference in our internal affairs warrant a parity in mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa.”
BAL Analysis: IRCC will continue to accept and process applications in India, but reduced staffing levels are expected to impact processing times. IRCC staff who remain in India will focus on urgent processing, visa printing, risk assessment and overseeing key partners. The Canadian government has stated that applicants in India should expect delays in overall processing times, responses to inquiries and getting visas and passports returned. BAL will provide additional updates as information becomes available.