India has also asked Canada to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country.
In a relief for Indians in Canada amid the snowballing diplomatic row between the two countries, the Centre has clarified that services like issuing passports, providing a police clearance certificate and attestation of documents will continue. The announcement came a day after India said it has suspended issuing visas to Canadian citizens due to "security issues".
In a post on X on Friday, the handle for the Consulate General of India, Toronto, posted, "Consular services for Indian nationals in Canada, e.g. Passport issuance, Passport renewal, Police Clearance Certificate, Attestation etc. continue to be extended."
The current diplomatic stand-off began on Monday, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in the Canadian parliament that his government had "credible allegations" linking the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June with the "agents of the Government of India".
The Indian government rejected the allegation as "absurd and motivated" and the countries have, since, expelled a diplomat each. On Wednesday, India also issued a travel advisory for Canada, a day after the latter updated its own travel advisory for India.
On Thursday, India stopped issuing visas to citizens of Canada "till further notice". BLS International - a private agency hired for initial scrutiny of visa applications of Canadian nationals - had initially said, "Due to operational reasons... Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice".
Hours later, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi elaborated on the suspension and said "security threats" were "disrupting" the work of Indian officials. He said personnel in Indian missions were unable to carry out visa functions because of the security environment that they found themselves facing.
"For now, the security situation in Canada and because of Canadian government inaction, we have stopped visa services temporarily," said Mr Bagchi.
The MEA spokesperson also said India has asked Canada to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country and cited the "interference of Canadian diplomats in Indian affairs".
"The Canadian diplomatic presence in India is larger than what India has and accordingly needs to be downsized. We have informed the Canadian government that there should be parity in diplomatic presence. Their numbers are very much higher than ours in Canada... I assume there will be a reduction," he said.
Mr Trudeau, meanwhile, also repeated his charge on Thursday. Addressing a press conference at Canada's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, he said, "As I said on Monday, there are credible reasons to believe that agents of the Government of India were involved in the killing of a Canadian on Canadian soil."