January 16, 2024

Canada Alters Travel Guidance and Temporarily Suspends Visa and Consular Operations in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, and Mumbai

In a recent diplomatic row between Canada and India, tensions have escalated, leading to significant changes in Canada's approach to its services and advisory for citizens traveling to India. This article explores the details of these updates, including the travel advisory issued by Canada, the temporary suspension of consular services in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, and Mumbai, and the impact on visa processing for Indians.

Canada's Travel Advisory Update

Canada has recently updated its travel advisory for its citizens in India, cautioning them about the potential for 'anti-Canada protests,' intimidation, or harassment. This comes in the wake of a strained diplomatic relationship between the two countries, which we will delve into shortly.

The advisory emphasizes the need for Canadians in India to exercise caution and maintain a low profile. They are advised not to share personal information with strangers and avoid crowded areas, including public transportation. These precautions are in response to calls for protests and negative sentiment towards Canada, which have been observed both in traditional media and on social platforms.

Temporary Suspension of Consular Services

A significant development in this ongoing diplomatic dispute is the temporary suspension of in-person consular services in three major Indian cities: Bengaluru, Chandigarh, and Mumbai. The Consulates General of Canada in these locations have halted their in-person operations, leaving Canadians with limited options for obtaining consular assistance. Instead, in-person services will be available at the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi.

The decision to suspend consular services in these cities is a notable step that underscores the gravity of the situation. It is essential to explore the background of this diplomatic dispute to gain a better understanding of the reasons behind this action.

Diplomatic Dispute Between Canada and India

The diplomatic row between Canada and India stems from a complex and sensitive issue: the murder of a Khalistani terrorist on Canadian soil. Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced that Canada was withdrawing 41 diplomats from India in response to this dispute. Notably, Joly emphasized that Canada would not retaliate in kind, despite the provocative actions taken by India.

New Delhi had previously threatened to unilaterally revoke the official status of Canadian diplomats in India if they did not leave voluntarily. Joly regarded this threat as "unreasonable and unprecedented" and a violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. The situation escalated further, resulting in a strained relationship between the two nations.

Impact on Visa Processing for Indians

The diplomatic tensions have also had an impact on immigration matters. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently announced a slowdown in the processing of visa applications for Indians. The reduction in processing efficiency is attributed to India's decision to unilaterally remove immunities for most Canadian diplomats and their dependents in Delhi by a specific deadline.

IRCC clarified that it would continue to accept and process applications from India. However, the reduced staffing levels in India are expected to cause delays in various aspects of the application process, including overall processing times, responses to inquiries, and the return of visas or passports to applicants.


The Canada-India diplomatic dispute has resulted in substantial changes to travel advisories, consular services, and visa processing for Indians. Canadians in India are urged to exercise caution and maintain a low profile, while in-person consular services have been temporarily suspended in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, and Mumbai. Furthermore, Indians seeking visas may experience delays due to reduced staffing levels at IRCC in India.

The ongoing tension between Canada and India underscores the significance of diplomatic relations in the contemporary global landscape and the potential repercussions on various aspects of international engagement, including travel and immigration services. As the situation continues to evolve, it is crucial for all parties involved to seek a resolution that fosters cooperation and mutual understanding.

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