Friday, December 28, 2012

Processing time for Canadian visas for Nigerians cut from 60 to 10 days

The Canadian High Commission has reduced the waiting period for visa applicants from 60 to 10 days.

A source at the High Commission told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja that the country was now opening up and accommodating more visitors and travellers from across the globe.

"Because of this, a lot of Nigerians are sending their children to study in Canada and this has led to a backlog in the number of visa applications.

"This informed the mission's decision to reduce the waiting period from 60 to 10 days," the source added.

Diplomatic sources told NAN that the Canadian government took the decision following persistent complaints by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru and the leadership of the National Assembly.

Ashiru, at various meetings with Heads of Diplomatic missions assured them of the readiness of Nigeria's diplomatic missions to undertake reciprocal treatment in the issuance of visas.

"Where visas are delivered promptly within three to five days, we shall reciprocate and where there is delay, we shall apply the same measure," he told them.

NAN recalled that late Dr Lateef Adegbite's visa application for his regular medical checkup was turned down by the mission.

The mission cited a new directive from Canada that all visa applications should be thoroughly screened irrespective of the status of the applicants.

Also, some members of the National Assembly were denied visas to attend the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference which took place in September in Ottawa, Canada.

Canada and Nigeria, established diplomatic relations 50 years ago, and share a common commitment to freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

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