Federal Government Doesn't Commit to Open Visa Office in Iran
Today Canada's Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen formally responded to the parliamentary petition e-1599 submitted by the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) and sponsored by Member of Parliament Jenny Kwan. The petition urged the federal government to open a Visa Application Centre in Iran to accommodate thousands of visa and PR applicants in the country. In his response Minister Hussen does not directly answer the question of whether or not they have any plan to open a visa office in Iran and he does not provide any commitment.
Currently because there are no visa centres or consular offices in Iran applicants must travel to another country to complete the biometrics information requirements.
In another part of his response Minister Hussen said:
It is not always possible to open a Visa Application Centre in certain locations, due to a number of factors, including but not limited to the security situation, country conditions or accessibility.
Canada is monitoring its Visa Application Centre service footprint and Visa Application Centres may be opened in additional locations at a later date.
Based on the information provided in the petition by the Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) Iranians are the 5th source country globally for visitor visa applications and 7th source country globally for student visa applications for Canada.
In 2012, the Harper government first stopped issuing visas in Tehran and later closed down the embassy completely and cut diplomatic ties with Iran.
While the Harper government said security concern was their main reason for closing down the embassy, CBC reported in 2014 that a government assessment concluded that there was no significant threat to Canadian embassy or its staff in Iran.
During the 2015 federal election campaign Justin Trudeau promised to reestablish diplomatic relations with Iran. However, 3 years into his mandate he has not fulfilled this promise yet.