Imagility News

India Restarts E-Visa Services for Canadian Travelers

India has lifted the suspension on e-visas for Canadian tourists and business travelers, a move that comes after a two-month hiatus amid strained relations following allegations from Ottawa regarding potential Indian government involvement in the murder of a Canadian Sikh separatist leader. An anonymous official from the Indian government stated that the resumption of e-visa services is a step towards easing tensions, though immediate significant improvement in bilateral relations may not be anticipated.

This development is part of India’s gradual normalization of visa services, which previously saw the restoration of visas under four out of the 13 suspended categories in September. While the resumption of e-visas is viewed positively in diplomatic circles, experts caution that more substantial improvements in India-Canada relations will require additional efforts and diplomatic initiatives. The resumption highlights the importance of facilitating travel and business exchanges between the two nations, with its impact on broader diplomatic dynamics closely monitored.

The Indian tourism industry has welcomed the decision, expressing relief during the current inbound tourist season. Rajiv Mehra, President of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), highlighted the positive impact on inbound tourism from Canada, one of the largest source markets, and urged the Indian government to extend e-visas to Chinese visitors. Ajay Prakash, Board Member of the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) and President of the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), commended the move, emphasizing the importance of resolving differences through dialogue and facilitating people-to-people movement.

Jyoti Mayal, President of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), described the decision as a positive step toward promoting tourism and strengthening bilateral ties. She underscored the need to open e-tourist visas for all countries to enhance ease of travel. The resumption of e-visas for Canadian nationals signifies a diplomatic step toward normalizing relations, and stakeholders in the tourism industry express optimism about its positive impact on inbound tourism while urging further global inclusivity in visa programs.

Source: MSN