New Delhi [India], September 21 (ANI): Visa services provider BLS International has with immediate effect suspended Indian visa services in Canada, amid a diplomatic standoff between the countriesBLS International Services Limited is an Indian outsourcing service provider for government and diplomatic missions worldwide. The company manages visa, passport, consular, attestation and citizen services.
"Due to operation reasons, with immediate effect i.e. 21 September 2023, Indian visa services in Canada have been suspended till further notice," the company informed stock exchanges in a filing on Thursday.
It added the impact of this move is"negligible" on the company's financials as the Canadian visa issuance business contributes less than 2 per cent to its total annual revenue.
On Wednesday, Indian nationals, students in Canada and those planning on traveling to the country were advised to exercise caution. Indian nationals and Indian students in Canada were advised to avoid traveling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen growing anti-India activities, according to a release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Indian students in Canada have been particularly advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant.
The updated travel advisory for students came amidst a strain in India-Canada relations after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday alleged that the Indian government was behind the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Nijjar, who was a designated terrorist in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
Trudeau during a debate in the Canadian Parliament, claimed his country's national security officials had reasons to believe that "agents of the Indian government" carried out the killing of the Canadian citizen, who also served as the president of Surrey's Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.
The allegations made by the Canadian Prime Minister and foreign minister were rejected by the Ministry of External Affairs in India which dubbed the statements as absurd. "We have seen and reject the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister in their Parliament, as also the statement by their Foreign Minister. Allegations of Government of India's involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated" the statement said.