Haryana: Man dies by suicide over delayed Canadian student visa
In a suspected case of suicide due to a delay in obtaining a Canadian student visa, the body of a 23-year-old man, who had been missing for two days, was discovered in a canal in Haryana's Kurukshetra. His visa had arrived on Thursday, but he couldn't be informed because he had gone missing and most likely dead by then, according to a family friend.
Why does this story matter?
- Even after COVID-19 loosened off globally, student visa delays remained an issue.
- Aside from Canada, where the procedure is currently taking about six months, the UK and US authorities are reportedly taking even longer to make decisions on visa applications.
- The delay reportedly appears to be a global issue, since immigration offices in various nations have displayed posters and messages informing students.
Details regarding the case
As per Haryana police, the man, whose name was Vikesh Saini, nicknamed Deepak, from village Gorkha, jumped into the canal near Jansa town because he was upset that his friend had already received his student visa. He's survived by a brother and two sisters, in addition to his parents. His father is reportedly a government employee. The deceased's immediate family was unable to speak.
Why did Vikas want to go to Canada?
He reportedly planned to move to Canada after completing his graduate degree and studying there. Gurnam Singh, an ex-sarpanch, reportedly stated, "On Thursday, his visa came. But he was already missing by then. He'd been upset ever since his friend's visa...came, that his visa was getting delayed endlessly." "The family, too, wanted to send their son to Canada for a better life," he added.
The body was found during a police search operation
During a search operation on Thursday, his footwear and motorcycle were discovered by the Narwana Branch canal, prompting divers to be called in. According to Rajpal Singh, the area police in-charge, the body was returned to the family following a post-mortem examination. The police have reportedly filed a complaint and initiated the necessary investigation. However, this is being treated as a suicide case only.
Why are visas getting delayed?
The barrage of pending applications is reportedly attributed to a global shortage of consular staff, while applications from working professionals to return to work have increased. The US waiting period has reached a staggering 500-day waiting period, with authorities reportedly stating that they have doubled their consular hiring while training employees. The country is prioritizing repeat travel, implying that first-time applications will take longer.
MEA's statement over the delay of visa applications
India's Ministry of External Affairs recently stated that "Senior MEA officials dealing with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, UK, and USA had constructive discussions with corresponding heads of missions and senior diplomats of these countries about streamlining student visas to Indian nationals."
If you have suicidal thoughts, please seek help
In case you need help or know someone who does, you can reach out to AASRA for suicide prevention counseling. Their number is 022 2754 6669 (24 hours). You can also contact the Hyderabad-based Roshni NGO at +914066202000 or COOJ at +918322252525. Sneha India Foundation, which works 24X7, can be contacted at +914424640050. Vandrevala Foundation has trained counselors, and their number is 18602662345.