Canadian visas and immigration services from Bangalore will be launched by September end.
Personnel to handle these two services from the Canadian Consulate General’s office are being recruited and people familiar with the services are being relocated to the Bangalore office.
“The exact date of launch has to be confirmed, but we are pretty sure of beginning immigration and visa work by September end. Recruitment and staff relocation are under way. We are excited because we have a significant presence in Bangalore with South India in our sights. As of now, trade ties are normal and will continue to grow,” senior consulate official Kyle Nunas told Deccan Herald.
The consulate general in the City opened on February 27.
“In the first two months, we have been busy settling in and trying to get the right staff for various responsibilities. Our goal is to build a team of 40, which will make it the largest consulate general in India in terms of number of people. We are focussed on South India and we believe Bangalore is well-located to get into collaborative ties,” Nunas said.
Indo-Canadian ties have been very strong. Among 650 Canadian firms in the country, Bangalore alone hosts 30.
The collaboration between Canada and Bangalore is in the fields of aero, defence, ICT and life sciences. Canadian technology and IT company, CGI has presence in Bangalore apart from than Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.
An estimated 9,500 professionals work for CGI, spread across the four cities, out of the 72,000 employed worldwide. Canada plans to make Bangalore a part of the overall supply chain of services, not limited only to products.
Apart from these ties, Canada also currently hosts 30,000 Indian students for graduate and postgraduate studies, double the number in 2008.
Canadian Governor General David Johnston who launched the consulate in the City in February had said Canada was keen to get more Indian students into its education sector.
In an interview to this paper, Johnston had said: “Canada itself is a land of immigrants, who give it the energy to run. The native population of Canada is not reproducing itself, we have an aging population and birth rates are falling.”
“India has splendid human capital and a huge population base. We are just 33 million, and you are 1.2 billion, a country with tremendous diversity and pluralism. We are also pluralist and inclusive. We would want people to come and seek permanent residency in Canada.”
He also pointed out that Canada has a flexible immigration policy.
“A student can apply for permanent residency even while studying and working. There is no need to come back to India in the time it takes to process applications. The skills we have sought are available on the web. Anyone can apply based on that information.”