Diplomatic relations change very fast. Faster than you change your clothes, sometimes. One of the most preferred destinations for permanent residency (PR), Canada has to issue a travel advisory asking its citizens to avoid travelling in Jammu & Kashmir amid tense diplomatic relations.
Destination looks too far?
- Every year 2.26 lakh students from India go for admission in Canada
- Every year 1.18 lakh Indians receive PR status in Canada
- Of the international students, Indians comprise 40%
- Aspirants anxious, consultants say situation will improve soon
“Avoid all travel to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir due to the unpredictable security situation. There is a threat of terrorism, militancy, civil unrest and kidnapping. This advisory excludes travelling to or within the Union Territory of Ladakh,” Canada stated in the advisory for India, marking it an “Exercise A High Degree Of Caution”.
Following the sudden deterioration in Indo-Canadian relations, uncertainty looms large on large number students who are readying for admission to Canadian universities, which have 40% Indians among their international students. This year Canada has firmed up plans for 9 lakh international students.
According to official data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, in 2022, there were over 2.26 lakh Indian students who went to study in Canada, making them the biggest cohort of international students. The number of Indians who received PR status in Canada in 2022 also went up to 1.18 lakh.
“I have all my preparations done for my travel to Canada. I have applied for Student Visa also. But now I am scared Canadian Embassy may turn down my Visa application. What will I do then? I have already spent a large amount,” asks Vishvendra Singh, a resident of Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
However, educational consultants are hopeful of improvement in the situation very fast.
“At this time Canada can't afford to bitter ties with India. There are over 2 lakh students going every year to study in their universities. They ( Canada ) get lot of revenue from Indian students. Also they get a large number of skilled workforce from India. The situation is short lived, can't survive for long,” says Ishminder Singh, an educational consultant, who sends more than 1,000 students every year to Canada.
Why situation turned ugly ?
The situation took a downturn after Canada on Monday expelled a high-ranking Indian diplomat, following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement in the Canadian Parliament suggesting the Indian government's “potential link” in the killing of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. Nijjar was fatally shot outside a Gurudwara in Surrey, British Columbia.
India too on Tuesday India expelled one of Canada's top diplomats saying that expulsion came amid “growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities.”
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