One of the most common surnames in Canada, imbued with religious significance for millions of Sikhs around the world, is now, after yesterday’s reversal of a 10-year policy, deemed acceptable by the Canadian government.


For the past decade, Indian immigration applicants with the surname Singh or Kaur were told by the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi their names, too common to process quickly, would have to be changed.


Twenty-four hours after the World Sikh Organization raised the issue, Citizenship and Immigration Canada yesterday announced it was dropping the policy, calling the whole thing a misunderstanding based on a “poorly worded” letter.



Name given

  • Most of the world’s 30 million Sikhs are given the name Singh, for men, or Kaur, for women, usually as a middle name.