Kindly revoke Canadian transit visa requirement for Indians urgently

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My name is Chinmay Ujjwal Vanjare. I am a master's student studying at Syracuse University of the United States of America. In August 2019, I booked my air ticket to Mumbai via Toronto through an Air Canada flight. I thought everything will go well and it will be a pleasurable experience but I was proved wrong. My friend's roommate told me about the possibility of a Candian transit visa when I booked my flight which I initially ignored considering the assumption that I would not require a visa just to transit through any country. One and half months before my actual trip, I casually searched on the internet about the Canadian transit Visa requirement for Indians and I was shocked to notice that there was a requirement of transit visas to transit through Canada. I had my academic obligations at that time. I had to apply for a Canadian transit visa at the expense of academics. I had a deadline in two days for one of my assignments and I lost those two days as I had to complete the procedure of applying for the Canadian transit visa. It took a toll on my academic performance. Furthermore, It took 21 business days for my Canadian transit visa to arrive in my inbox. During the whole process, I underwent a lot of mental stress and agony. Additionally, I had to bear for the Canadian visa processing charges. The story doesn't end here.

On 15th December 2019, when I reached Newark airport in New Jersey in the United States, I saw my junior Ms. Manisha Galani at the Air Canada counter. I went to her with curiosity as I knew her and I talked with her. After talking to her, I came to know that she had the Air Canada ticket of the same flight which I was about to board but she didn't have a Canadian transit visa. Despite knowing the fact that she couldn't board the flight, I decided to make some efforts. I talked with the Air Canada representative at the counter and he told that he couldn't do anything about it. I asked him to call his supervisor. When the supervisor came, I told him about the scenario and requested him to allow Manisha to board the flight. The supervisor called up his higher authorities and told them about the issue. The higher authorities conveyed the representative that they couldn't allow Manisha to board the flight. Manisha tried to call the Canadian consulate in New York but the consulate was closed as it was Sunday.  I was in no mood to give up so I went to the US immigration officer at the Newark airport with Manisha and requested him to allow her to board the flight. The Visa officer refused by saying that it is an internal matter of Canada and he couldn't do anything about it. Ultimately Manisha had to cancel her flight and stay nearby for a day. She had to book a new flight for the next day. She had to undergo a lot of mental stress. Additionally, she had to bear the expenses of the hotel stay and air ticket. The airline people and the Canadian immigration officials together could have collaborated to give her an on-arrival Canadian Visa by making an exception to their immigration policies. I was disheartened by the whole incident but I couldn't do anything. I completely empathize with Manisha and her pain.

The same incident could have happened with me or anyone else if I or anyone else wouldn't have known about the Canadian transit visa requirement for Indians. As per the statistics of 2016, there were 1,374,710 people of Indian origin in Canada which was 4 percent of the total Canadian population. I have seen many Indians working at Toronto airport which confirms this fact.  Furthermore, The requirement for the Canadian transit visa is taxing and obsolete. Additionally, countries like the United States, Germany, France, and many other countries do not have Canadain transit visa requirements for their Citizens.  Due to the above reasons, I have decided to start a petition so that in future no other Indian citizen has to undergo similar circumstances. I would like to request all Indians in India as well as abroad to sign this petition. Jai Hind.