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Visa Office to open in Chandigrah

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OTTAWA, August 02, 2002 — Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is establishing an immigration processing office in Chandigarh, India. The office, which will serve the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana, should be open for business by the end of summer 2003.

“This is an important improvement in service which the Prime Minister recently announced,” said Denis Coderre, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. “India is Canada’s second largest source country for immigrants, many of whom come from the Punjab and Haryana states. This second point of service in India will enable us to better respond to the demand for services in that region.”

Currently, immigration and visitor services are being provided through the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi. However, the High Commission has been operating a business office in Chandigarh providing immigration information to residents of Northern India since 1997. Since the beginning of 2002, CIC officers from New Delhi have been travelling to the Chandigarh office to conduct interviews of some family class applicants. Staffed by full-time officers, the new permanent immigration office will expand the services already provided in Chandigarh eliminating the need for clients from Punjab and Haryana to travel to New Delhi for services.