23 B.C. gurdwara societies urge India to reinstate E-Visas and 10-year visas, introduce flights between Vancouver and Amritsar and/or Chandigarh

TWENTY-THREE gurdwara societies from across B.C. have urged the Government of India to reinstate the highly popular E-Visa and 10-year visas as soon as possible, and introduce flights between Vancouver and Amritsar and/or Chandigarh.

They have also made other suggestions to end delays in the processing of visa applications that are causing frustration.

Representatives of the gurdwara societies met with Indian Consul General Manish in Vancouver on November 28 and sent him the following letter signed by Malkiat Singh Dhami, President, Khalsa Diwan Society, Vancouver, on their behalf on November 30 that they released to the media this week:

Indian Consul General Manish
Photo submitted

“We are thankful to you for taking the time to meet with us, the gurdwara societies representing the South Asian community, on Monday, November 28, 2022 to listen to our concerns about a number of issues affecting the South Asian community. … We appreciate the hospitality, cordiality, respect and the attention provided by you and your staff. In this context, we request you and the Government of India to:

“1. Reinstate the E-Visa and ten year visas as soon as possible. This will eliminate the long wait lines, frustration and related problems experienced by people planning to visit India. All of our Gurdwaras have been receiving complaints from our congregations and the general public facing long delays to get visas.

“2. We request you and the Government of India to eliminate the need for Form A of those engaged in public service in Canada. This added requirement simply adds more time in processing the visa applications.

“3. We request you encourage the BLS [BLS India Visa Application Centre] to increase the number of their staff in order to minimize the delay in processing visa applications.

“4. We request you and the Government of India to urge the Airlines serving passengers between Canada and India to commence their services between Vancouver and Amritsar and/or Chandigarh, Punjab as soon as possible.

“Thank you for your time and attention.”


The representatives were from the following gurdwara societies:

Khalsa Diwan Society, Vancouver; Akali Singh Sikh Society (Vancouver); Khalsa Diwan Society, Abbotsford; Gurdwara Sahib Brookside (Surrey); Sri Guru Ravidas Sabha (Burnaby); Gurdwara Nanak Niwas (Richmond); Khalsa Diwan Society York Center (surrey); Bear Creek Hall Gurdwara (Surrey); Guru Govind Singh Temple (Prince George); Guru Nanak Sikh Temple (Williams Lake); Cariboo Gursikh Temple (Quesnel); Vancouver Island Sikh Cultural Society (Duncan); Okanagan Sikh Temple (Kelowna); Mission Sikh Temple (Mission); Gurdwara Sahib-Miri-Piri Khalsa Darwar (Terrace); Khalsa Diwan Society Sikh Temple (Victoria); Khalsa Diwan Society, Nanaimo; Guru Nanak Sikh Society (Campbell River); Sikh Temple (Squamish); Sikh Cultural Society (Kamloops), Merrit Sikh Temple (Merrit); Alberni Valley Gurdwara Society (Port Alberni); and Gurdwara Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib (Surrey).