Source: Expat Forum via Indian Economic & Business News | May 5, 2014
Canada remains a destination of choice for visitors, students and business travelers from India with more than 130,000 visas being issued to people coming to visit family, friends or as tourists last year. There were also almost 14,000 student visas granted and more than 33,000 Indian citizens who became permanent residents of Canada, according to the latest figures announced by Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. He said that for over a century Canada has benefited from the talent and hard work of newcomers from India. ‘Tens of thousands of Indians continue to make the journey to Canada every year to help us build our country, our economy and, in many cases, to settle permanently and become Canadians,’ he explained. ‘The government has been making changes to facilitate legitimate travel, welcoming more visitors, businesspeople and students to Canada than ever before,’ he added. This includes the Business Express Programme (BEP) that was introduced in 2008 and created to ensure faster processing of visa applications for business people. The Worker Express Programme, which provides expedited service to applicants sent to Canada by companies under the BEP, was introduced in India in June 2009 and has since benefited more than 7,200 Indian citizens. In addition to the BEP, in July 2011, the government extended the duration of multiple entry visas from five to 10 years allowing visitors to enter and exit Canada for up to six months at a time over a 10 year period.
TCS Insights: By making visas more accessible to travelers from around the world, Canada has been able to benefit from the thousands of Indians who choose to study or work there. The decision to increase the length of multiple entry visas while allowing more travel to and from the country has also proved beneficial.