Canada invites immigration, visas

City now has Canadian consular-general's office

Canada invites immigration, visas

What has Canada’s plunging birth rates, rising aged population and declining native population got to do with India and Bangalore? 

Canada would love waves of skilled and semi-skilled immigration workers from all over India and from the country’s most skilled city - Bangalore - to make up for a serious population, skill and student deficit back home. 

Not surprising then that Bangalore has just received a serious upgrade in its consular status vis-a-vis Canada. Canadians are asking more Bangaloreans to study and stay in Canada, even make it their permanent home to handle the vacuum its institutions face.

The seriousness of their intent can be measured by Canada’s Governor General David Johnston himself launching a full-fledged, independent consular-general’s office at the World Trade Centre (WTC) at Yeshwantpur on Wednesday. The consular-general’s office, a higher body than the Canadian Trade Office at Bangalore launched in 1996, means citizens of Bangalore and South India can avail themselves of visas and immigration services to Canada right in the City. 

It also means that Bangalore will have a consular-general officer who can take up issues concerning Canada at very high levels. There is also no need henceforth to travel to Mumbai and Delhi to avail of travel services to Canada.

In an interaction with Deccan Herald after the launch of the consular-general’s office on the 22nd floor at the WTC, Governor General Johnston made clear the implications of the consular upgrade Bangalore will now have and issues in Canada that brought him and his team to India.
 Johnston said: “Bangalore’s consular general’s office will have the largest diplomatic presence of Canada in India in terms of number of people to be stationed in the City.

Bangalore otherwise will be the second largest consulate office of Canada in India after Delhi. This will happen as soon as we enhance the number of officials from six to 36. We have the capacity to have 50 officials in Bangalore.” 

This means Bangalore will move ahead of Mumbai and Chandigarh consular offices in terms of size of diplomatic presence. 

The trade office will continue to work in tandem with trade offices in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, and Chennai.

“Bangalore is a thriving city. It is very good in education apart from information technology. We have over 600 Canadian companies working in India. Of this I’d say, 25 per cent of companies dealing with technology are in Bangalore. They have physical presence and investment in Bangalore. 

“Bangalore is also a well-located hub for South India. We would like to invest in South India’s talent and Bangalore is the right place to start. We have had strong ties with the North. I am here to reinforce Indian and Canadian ties and put the spotlight on trade. We’re doing just 15 billion dollars, it’s too small for an economy that is nearly two trillion. We attach great value to the new set-up in Bangalore.” 

Johnston said he would like more immigration from India and Bangalore, apart from Canadian students who he said should come to India. 

“Nearly 30,000 Indian students are in Canada, this is a four-fold increase since 2008. We would like more coming. We have a very 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. 

“Also, Canada itself is a land of immigrants, who give it the energy to run. The native population of Canada is not growing, we have an aging population and birth rates are falling. India has splendid human capital and a huge population base. We’re just 33 million, and you are 1.2 billion, a country with tremendous diversity and pluralism,” he said.

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