Toronto: With a view to making visa services faster, hassle-free and efficient, the Indian Consulate here has decided to outsource its consular services under a new visa regime which will become functional from May 22.

“The government has decided to outsource consular services in Canada. The VF Services (Canada) would be the nodal agency which would have collection, processing and distribution centres (for visa services) in Toronto and Brampton,” Preeti Saran, Consul General of India, told journalists here on Tuesday.

The centres would receive applications for visas, except Diplomatic and Official ones, for issue of new passport or renewal of old ones and other passport-related services such as change of name, Persons of Indian origin (PIO) cards, Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards on behalf of Indian Consulate for an additional fee of 19.25 Canadian dollars. “The applications would continue to be decided by the Consulate General of India,” Ms. Saran said.

The Consulate would, however, continue to entertain requests for emergency visas, attestation of documents, affidavits, life certificates and registration certificates relating birth, marriage and death of Indian nationals.

“The VF Service Centres in Ottawa and Montreal have already become operational from Friday last, and remaining centres in Surrey, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary would become operational before June-end,” official sources said.

For life certificate and attestation of documents, where physical presence of the concerned person was necessary, or issue of diplomatic or official visas people would have to visit their Indian Consulate or the High Commission, they said. — PTI

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