India resumes online visa services for Canadian citizens as tensions ease

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India has restored online visa services to Canadian nationals in a sign that relations are improving after the two countries sparred over the killing of a Sikh separatist leader.

Canadian nationals can now apply for online visas, according to senior government officials in India, who asked not to be named discussing a sensitive subject. The online visas are issued for short visits to India and include tourist and business-related trips.

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The resumption of visa services comes on a day when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to address a virtual meeting of the G20 grouping that India chairs.

Relations between Ottawa and New Delhi plunged after Prime Minister Trudeau alleged that India was responsible for the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist leader in Canada. Nijjar is wanted in India for terrorism-related offenses and was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in suburban Vancouver on June 18.

Trudeau’s accusation sparked outrage from the Indian government, which has denied involvement in Nijjar’s death. Officials forced the North American country to reduce its diplomatic staff in New Delhi and also suspended visa services for Canadians.

India resumed issuing certain categories of visas for Canadian nationals in October but the applications for these were to be made through government-appointed outsourced agencies as against online applications.

Read more: Analysis: Navigating the complex path to healing India-Canada diplomatic relations

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