With an aim to make visa services faster, hassle-free and efficient, Indian Consulate in Toronto 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 distributions centres (for visa services) in Toronto and Brampton," Preeti Saran, Consul General of India, told reporters in Toronto.
The centres, managed by VF Services (Canada), would become operational from May 22.
These would recieve applications for visas, except Diplomatic and Official ones, for issue of new passport or renewal of old ones and other passport related services like change of name, Persons of Indian origin cards, Overseas Citizenship of India 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," Sharan said.
From May 22, when the centres become functional, the Consulate would stop receiving applications for consular services including visas, passports, PIO and OCI cards.
However, Saran said, the Consulate would continue to entertain requests for emergency visas, attestation of documents, affidavits, life certificates and registration certificates relating birth, marriage and death of Indian nationals.
"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.