Surrey : Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Nina Grewal applauded the latest policy initiative of the Conservative Government to speed up visa processing times for Indian nationals. The new CAN+ program, announced on Monday by Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, will streamline the application process and expedite processing for Indian nationals who received a visitor visa to come to Canada or the United States within the last 10 years.
“This is a common sense program that makes it easier and quicker for Indian citizens to travel to Canada,” declared MP Grewal. “Too often family and loved ones are kept separated by bureaucratic delays. The new CAN+ program will eliminate some of the unnecessary red-tape that causes long wait times. If you’ve jumped through all the hoops before, been approved for a visa to North America and obeyed the terms of your visa then a second visa should be a simple process. Thanks to the vision of our government that is becoming a reality.”
The new program is available to Indian nationals who have previously travelled to Canada or the United States within the last 10 years. They will benefit from expedited processing and will not have to provide as many supporting documents. When tested as a pilot program, applicants were issued visas within five days and there was an approval rate over 95 percent. The new program will also reduce workloads on visa officers allowing for improved processing times for all applicants.
In 2013, more than 130,000 visitor visas were issued by the Government of Canada to Indian citizens, and nearly 14,000 Indian citizens received student permits. This year, from January to June, almost 95 percent of visitor visas issued to Indian nationals were multiple-entry visas, allowing travelers to visit Canada as many times as they want for up to 10 years.
“It should not be an ordeal for genuine visitors from India to visit Canada. I am pleased that the CAN+ program will make it faster and easier for Indians to come to Canada to visit family and friends and to do business. Canada already has a strong relationship with India. This initiative will serve to further enhance our economic and cultural ties and will be a benefit to the residents of my riding and to the Indian Diaspora,” concluded MP Grewal.