Canada’s Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, Edward Fast, recently announced that Canada will implement a new visa regime for Indians allowing them to enter and leave Canada repeatedly during a validity period of up to 10 years.
The announcement was made at a meeting with high-level delegates of the Indian government and business community at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention for the Indian Diaspora in North America & the Caribbean held in Toronto, June 9-10, 2011 (PBD Canada 2011).
Both countries hope that the new Canadian visa regime along with other agreements will promote their market opening policies and make it easy for Indians to invest, do business or work in Canada. The countries are targeting bilateral trade in the order of USD 15 billion in the next five years.
PBD Canada 2011 is the 5th regional PBD conference and first to be held in Canada. PBD, which means “non-resident Indian day” or “day for overseas Indians” in Hindi, was founded in 2002 by India’s Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to celebrate the return in 1915 of Mahatma Gandhi to India and to strengthen connections between India and its 25 million plus Diaspora.
Green and Spiegel LLP partner Ravi Jain attended as a Canadian delegate at the conference.