In a tit-for-tat move, India retains e-visa suspension for Canadians

Published on Oct 30, 2021 05:59 PM IST

Even as it relaxes travel norms for tourists from across the world, India has retained its suspension on the e-visa facility for Canadians in a retaliatory move for restrictions imposed by Ottawa on Indians flying to Canada.

An aircraft in flight under clear blue sky, near Airport T3, in New Delhi, India. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
An aircraft in flight under clear blue sky, near Airport T3, in New Delhi, India. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Even as it relaxes travel norms for tourists from across the world, India has retained its suspension on the e-visa facility for Canadians in a retaliatory move for restrictions imposed by Ottawa on Indians flying to Canada.

India recently announced that short-term tourist visas for foreign nationals with a 30-day validity will be issued and these can be used to enter India beginning November 15, but Canada is among the handful of nations for which the facility remains blocked. Almost every other nationality, barring some like those holding Pakistani passports, can apply for an e-visa, Canadians still don’t have that option.

A senior Indian official told the Hindustan Times the e-visa “suspension remains in place for Canadians in response to the testing restrictions” that Canada continues to subject travellers from India to.

Canadian transport minister Omar Alghabra made a series of announcements on Friday in which he said that it was mandatory to be fully vaccinated to board a flight from Canada starting from October 30. He did not mention any relaxations for passengers arriving by air from India.

For those taking direct flights, they still only have the option of getting a mandatory negative RT-PCR test result from a single laboratory at the international airport in Delhi before being allowed to board for a Canada flight. For those flying via a third country, the stipulation is that they will have to obtain the necessary negative result at the point of departure, which is the country where the connecting flight is leaving from.

These restrictions came into place in September, even as Canada allowed direct flights from India, which had been suspended in April due to concerns over the surge in Delta-driven coronavirus cases in India. While that ban was finally lifted on September 27, the Canadian Government put in place the restrictive testing regimen.

New Delhi has retaliated to the developments by retaining the e-visa suspension for Canada even as discussions continue over relaxations, including expanding the list of testing centres in India.

Get Latest World News along with Latest News from Indiaat Hindustan Times.
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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

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