Canada has announced the closure of the visa section at its embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran, in a move likely to affect thousands of Iranian travelers. In a statement on its website, the Canadian Embassy said visa services for Iran have been transferred to the Canadian Embassy in Ankara, capital of neighboring Turkey.
The statement said the Ankara embassy will now be responsible for processing all applications from Iran, as well as applications from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.
The statement said the closure was decided by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada department, in a bid to conduct operations "more effectively and efficiently."
The closure of the Canadian visa office further narrows options for Iranians seeking to travel west, after Britain closed its Tehran embassy in November.
Based on reporting by cic.gc.ca and AFP
Copyright (c) 2012 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
Related Article: Iranians in Canada By the Numbers
According to Wikipedia, the number of Iranian-Canadians is estimated at 121,510 based on the 2006 Canadian census. However, these numbers only represent the people who immigrated from Iran and filled out the census survey. There are an estimated 50,000 more Iranians who did not fill out the survey and were born outside Iran including Canada.
Notice - Closure of the visa office in Tehran
The visa office in Ankara will now be responsible for processing all applications from Iran, in addition to being responsible for applications from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Turkmenistan.
Each year, CIC evaluates its network of immigration offices and explores ways of doing business more effectively and efficiently.
Shifting visa services from one visa office to another is not uncommon. Our new processing system, the Global Case Management System (GCMS), allows visa officers around the world to share workloads easily and efficiently.Temporary resident services
If you are in Iran and want to submit a temporary resident application, you must now apply through the visa office in Ankara. You are not required to include your passport with your application. The visa office in Ankara will contact you if the visa is ready to be issued and make the necessary arrangements in order to facilitate this process in person.
Iranian nationals outside of Iran can submit their application to any other Canadian visa office.
Temporary resident applications that have already been submitted will be transferred toAnkara where processing will resume.
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