Record Number of Visitor Visas Issued in Punjab
By A Correspondent
In what appears to be a PR shout out to the South Asian community, many of whom have been unhappy with recent immigration policy changes especially those related to family sponsorships, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) issued a news release citing that Canada’s Chandigarh office issued a record number of visitor visas in 2012.
It states that CIC officials issued approximately 17,608 visitor visas in India’s Punjab region, almost three times more than were issued in 2005. As well, approximately 80 per cent of visitor cases processed at missions in India in 2012 were finalized in five days or less, a major improvement over the 12-day processing time over the same period last year.
“I am pleased to announce that a record number of Indians from the Punjab region visited Canada last year and that the percentage of applicants approved for a visitor visa has increased significantly,” Minister Kenney said. “As the cultural and commercial ties between our countries grow, it is good news that more Indians are visiting Canada under our faster, fairer immigration system.”
Kenney also highlighted that, with a 54 per cent approval rate, Canada continues to maintain record high levels of student permits issued to the Punjab region. In 2012, Canada issued approximately 5,200 student permits from Chandigarh, up from 173 in 2004 when the mission first opened.
The minister also lauded the success of the new Super Visa for parents and grandparents. Launched one year ago, the Super Visa allows parents and grandparents to visit their loved ones in Canada for as long as two years at a time. There were more than 3,700 Super Visas issued from CIC’s Chandigarh mission in 2012, with an approval rate of 80 per cent and average processing times of less than eight weeks.
In addition to benefiting from recent changes to Canada’s immigration system, the record numbers are also due in part to good work by law enforcement agencies in both Canada and India to detect and deter fraud, says the release.
“India continues to remain one of Canada’s top source countries for immigrants and visitors,” Kenney said. “These increased figures show that our recent changes make it possible for a growing number of travellers to visit Canada.”
[Source: Canadian Immigrant]