21 Sept 2023

India Canada Diplomatic Row: How Escalating Tension Between Two Countries Affect Indians In Canada?

New Delhi: The deteriorating relations between India and Canada could affect Indians living there. The Indians in Canada are worried as relations become increasingly tense. The Indian family members of the NRIs living in Canada are keeping an eye on the developments.

After India, the largest population of Sikhs lives in Canada. Sikhs constitute 2.1 percent of the total population of the Canada.

40% of all foreign students studying in Canada are Indians

Not only this, since the year 2018, the maximum number of international students coming to Canada are from India.  In the year 2022, 40 percent of all foreign students studying in Canada are Indians.

Most of the Indian immigrants are settled in the Canadian cities of Toronto, Ottawa, Waterloo and Brampton.

Of these, Toronto is like a stronghold for Indians. Apart from these, there is a significant number of Indians in British Columbia also.

Indians are also important for the Canadian economy. 30 Indian companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro have invested billions of dollars in Canada, providing employment to thousands of people there.

Indian immigrants in Canada has tripled since 2013

The number of Indian immigrants in Canada has more than tripled since 2013. Given the number of Indians, the latest deterioration in relations has increased uneasiness among the Indian community in Canada.

At present, there is a feeling of concern among the Indians in Canada. They are worried about what effect the deterioration in relations between the two countries will have on immigration in particular. To what extent will those who have to travel from India to Canada and from Canada to India will be affected? How much will it affect the business? 

A large portion of the Indians living in Canada are students. There are also students in India who are planning to go to Canada in the future. However, at present, the changing situation does not seem to have any major impact on Indians or Indian students living in Canada.

At present, no such update has come from the Canadian administration or Immigration Services, which would be a cause for concern for Indian immigrants.

Currently no visible impact on Indian students

According to some consultancy firms that help Indians get visas, currently there is no visible impact of the stress on Indian students.

The reasoning behind this is that 40 percent of the foreign students studying in Canada are Indians. Only Canada benefits from this and hence it would like to avoid any kind of risk. 

Shiromani Akali Dal has asked the Central Government and Canada to resolve the issue through talks.

Party spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said, "The distance in relations between India and Canada is worrying and will affect the lives of our people. This will especially affect the students studying in Canada. The statement of the Canadian PM is worrying."

Will India's lentil requirements be impacted?

Canada's already lagging trade with India could suffer setbacks as relations become increasingly tense, experts say.

India is a particularly important destination for Canada's pulse industry, with around $40 crore in Canadian lentils shipped annually to India over the past three years.

The agricultural sector in Canada is keeping its fingers crossed that cooler heads prevail, said Keith Currie, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

However, the diplomatic row with Canada is unlikely to impact India's lentil (masoor) requirements as India has diversified its imports of the pulse and is no longer heavily dependent on one country, according to senior government officials and trade bodies.

Additionally, lentils imported from the US have recently been fully exempted  from any sort of customs duty by India.

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