In total, approximately 17,608 visitor visas were issued in 2012, three times higher than rates in 2005. The average processing time for this application was 5 days, a drastic reduction from 12-day processing times in 2011.
Canada’s new Super Visa program, which issues long-term visitor visas to parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, also saw great success in 2012. The Chandigarh visa office issued over 3,700 super visas with an approval rate of approximately 80% and speedy processing times of under 8 weeks.
Student visas continued to be issued in high quantities. Approximately 5,200 study permits were issued from the Chandigarh office this past year.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney believes that these high numbers are indicative of Canada’s welcoming immigration system and close ties to India.
“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,” he 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.”