Last year, Canada witnessed a significant decline in the issuance of study permits to Indian students. This drop was attributed to the expulsion of Canadian diplomats by India, who were responsible for processing the permits. Fewer Indian students applied for study permits owing to the diplomatic discourse related to the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada, as per sources cited in a report by Reuters.
Marc Miller, who is the immigration minister of Canada, expects a prolonged decline in study permit issuance to Indian students as tensions have escalated after Prime Minister Trudeau hinted at evidence linking Indian government agents to Hardeep Singh Nijjar's murder.
Hardeep Nijjar, who was designated as a terrorist in India, succumbed to a gunshot wound on June 18, last year in the parking lot of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia.
Following the incident, Canada had to withdraw 41 diplomats, comprising two-thirds of its staff in India, following directives from New Delhi. As per the report, the heated relations between both nations have led Indian students to explore educational opportunities in alternative countries, a spokesperson for the minister told Reuters.
Some Indian international students, according to C. Gurusubramanian, a counselor at the High Commission of India in Ottawa, are exploring options beyond Canada. This decision comes from the recent apprehensions about the inadequacy of residential and teaching facilities at certain Canadian institutions. In recent years, Indians constitute the largest number of international students in Canada, receiving over 41 per cent of all permits granted in 2022, totaling 225,835.