Visa-rush for Indian Students to Study in Canada
As tens of thousands of study permit applications remain waiting, the Canadian government has said that it is “currently prioritising those applications for clients whose studies begin in September,” while also extending the remote learning option for another year, reported the Hindustan Times.
The paper quoted an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) official saying, “We are making every effort to shorten wait times for our services globally.”
“As of August 15, more than 75,000 Indian study permit applications were in the processing inventory,” the official said. These are the visas received by Indians who wish to study at a Canadian university. The processing inventory is the backlog of pending cases.
The substantial inventory backlog, according to IRCC, was caused in part by “a rise in the number of study permit applications this year. IRCC received approximately 123,500 study visa applications from Indian residents in the first five months of 2022, or 55% more than during the same period in 2019, prior to the epidemic.”
“Despite the priority of study permit applications for students looking to begin their studies in September, it is predicted that some overseas students will not have their application approved in time to begin their studies in person for the fall 2022 intake session,” it warned.
Anshuman Gaur, India’s acting high commissioner in Ottawa, said he “welcomed this interim action”, though the High Commission in Ottawa issued an advisory on August 19, saying that the high Commission, as well as India’s Consulates in Toronto and Vancouver, “are engaged with key Canadian interlocutors, including Canadian academic institutions and universities, addressing challenges faced by Indian students due to visa delays.”
The advisory further stated that around 230,000 Indian students are currently enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Canada, “making a beneficial contribution to the Canadian economy, including an estimated CA$ 4 billion in tuition fees.”
The Indian High Commission in Ottawa has requested the Canadian authorities to ‘expedite processing of visa applications for students from India,’ as they have already deposited the required tuition fees to the Canadian institutions.
As per the advisory, “some institutions will provide a remote option for students unable to reach Canada at the start of the term due to a delay in their visa arrival.” Students will need to contact the preferred institutions to find the details of which course curriculum is eligible for the remote option. For students considering cancelling their admission, the university/institution is communicating with them regarding their opportunities including deferring the offer of admission to a later term.
“All affected students have been asked to send a request for information and urgent processing through an IRCC web form meant for study permit applications that have been submitted and completed but have exceeded the current processing time for Student Direct Stream (SDS) scheme,” read the advisory. As per reports, institutions in Canada have contingency plans to offer help to those candidates who did not receive their visas or study permit in time.
On the other hand, the High Commission of Canada in India has said that 75,000 study permit applications from India are now being processed.
As pointed out already, over 230,000 students from India are enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Canada.
According to a recent study by the Canadian Bureau of International Education, Canada is a top choice for international students due to its reputation as a safe, stable, and tolerant country in addition to the quality of its educational institutions. This is especially true for Indian students who often choose Canada as a destination to study abroad. In fact, Indian students accounted for 30% of the total international students in Canada.
For Indian students, Canada is particularly attractive due to our shared language, English, as well as large and well-established Indian communities throughout the country. Additionally, international students in Canada are permitted to hold a job and work a specified number of hours per week.