QUEEN’S ROAD: In order to serve an increasing number of visa applicants from the southern part of the country, the Canadian government has begun processing applications from its consulate in Bengaluru. The facility was formally inaugurated on Tuesday by that country’s Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Alexander.
Speaking after unveiling a plaque at the consulate, Alexander said, “This is our biggest immigration team anywhere in the world. While we have been consolidating visa offices everywhere, India is different and the scale justifies that.”
The Bengaluru office started processing visa applications from September 11 last year and by December, had already received 10,000 applications. The centre will handle applications submitted at six out of 10 visa application centres across the country. This covers 10 states.
Last year, 1.85 lakh visitor visas were issued by the Canadian officials here.
“We have visas for start-ups as well as the recently launched Express Entry scheme for immigration, which has taken the entire process online. From January, a candidate can establish an online profile in 15-20 minutes if he or she has all the documents. They will get an immediate answer when we match their qualifications with our points system. If you meet the requirements, you go into a pool and applicants will be selected from this pool and asked to submit full applications,” he said. Around 1,000 applications have already been put in the pool so far since the new system was launched earlier this month.