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Students missing out as delays hit Canada visa applicants

Canada is currently trying to process a visa backlog of over 2.1 million applications, which is causing delays in processing for international students bound for Canada.

A number of international students have missed out on their programs due to the processing delays. Photo: iStock

Many applicants have not received their visas until their course has already commenced

According to Nancy Caron, media relation advisor for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the significant increase is due in part to the introduction of the “temporary residency pathway” Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel. It has the goal of bringing as many Ukrainians to Canada as possible.

In the UK, the Home Office has said that it is prioritising visas under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine applications, which it says has led to student visa processing time delays.

Current study permit processing times are at 12 weeks, but IRCC has processed 175,616 study permit applications from January to April 2022, a record number compared to past years.

Many international students, and the education companies that assist them, have found themselves in difficult situations while waiting for their study permits to be processed.

“Presently, the student visas are taking 80-90 days… it is challenging to get all their papers in order to apply over 90 days in advance,” Sushil Sukhwani, director of Edwise International in India, said.

“It is challenging to get all their papers in order to apply over 90 days in advance”

Sukhwani also shared that Edwise has streamlined its operations to help students organise their applications so far in advance, but many have not received their visas until their course has already commenced.

This has created issues with getting refunds and program deferrals, as some courses are not available in a later session. Some 97 of Edwise’s 2022 students have had to defer to the next intake, he added.

Sukhwani believes this issue is unique to India due to the “high demands” of Indian international students. India’s ministry of external affairs reported that in 2021, there were over 215,720 Indian international students studying in Canada.

Overall, in 2021, Canada hosted nearly 622,000 international students. A record breaking figure reported by IRCC’s monthly statistics.

Like many Canadian universities, the University of British Columbia has seen an increase in recent years in the number of international students they accept to their programs, according to Philipp Reichert, UBC’s director of Global Engagement.

Reichert added that visa processing delays are affecting a number of Canadian educational institutions. He also mentioned that IRCC has announced “significant investments” in Canada’s global visa processing and are planning an upheaval of the application process in order to streamline it for the future.

“We are aware that ongoing study permit processing delays can impact current and new students,” he noted.

“Processing delays can affect anything from travel arrangements, making final decisions on which institution to attend, to finalising plans for the start of term such as securing housing, for those living off-campus. Understandably these difficulties can be stressful and concerning for students and their families.”

Teams at UBC campuses in Vancouver and Okanagan are providing a “full suite of supports”, including regulated immigration advisors and consultants helping international students navigate the permit application process, he added.

“It is our understanding that visa processing delays are also being faced by international students hoping to study in major destinations such as the UK, US, New Zealand and Australia due to several reasons, including the pandemic backlog and events in Afghanistan and Ukraine.

“We are yet to see the impact of these delays on the upcoming fall term”

“Here in Canada, processing delays are impacting institutions all across the country, and other kinds of applications such as work permits and permanent residency.”

Presently, students who have to engage in their studies virtually outside of Canada, remain eligible for Canadian post-graduation work permits, Reichert shared.

“Although we are yet to see the impact of these delays on the upcoming fall term, we advise students applying for a study permit to apply as early as possible, ensure that documentation is complete and specific, and connect with your institution for support on any questions or for the most up to date information,” he concluded.

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11 Responses to Students missing out as delays hit Canada visa applicants

  1. I applied for a Student visa In September 2021 and I didn’t receive any communication till January 2022 when they said they have a backlog of applications and they have been silent since then.

  2. I submitted my application on 24th January 2022 and last eek, my status changed to application/profile updated but when i logged in ahain it had resumed to submitted, now am failing to understand what is happening.

  3. I have only-6-7 days to get my visa if will not get my visa in these days i will have to defer my course in january intake because my college already give me ultimatum if i didn’t get my visa after august 1 then i have to defer my course in next intake ….

  4. problem with some school like lambton is that they dont defer. and you have to pay 2,500 canadian dollars for administrative fee if you withdraw without a refusal letter.

  5. Very clumsy situation on student as well as on parents..my son submitted application on May 28th 2022….till dt no response…he should get it before August 10th..I’ll he..? is there any one to help..!!?

  6. If they have backlogs then Ircc canada has to stop the student visa process temporarily for few months just announce officially site so student’s don’t get panic and worried abt expecting visa’s … current is so bad situation student getting around 80% refusal just to clear backlogs i have seen many student’s profile with 90% marksheet and ielts 7 to 8 band who get refusal with unuseless common reason that you want leave canada after your complete your study … 10 out of 8 got same result …. WHY? For this today students are getting nervous, depressed , worried that what will happen when wakeup next morning ? So tens …. please do something get better result and hope earliest as soonest solve this student visa Processing to clear all and get there visa and on time they attend there colleges ….. its a very humble request to Immigrant canada Department.

  7. Really pathetic situation, there is no sync between university and Canadian government. If they won’t want to grant visa on time than universities should not give offer.

  8. The worst processing time I have ever experienced I have applied 5 months ago and still not received passport request and even attending the classes too which will end next week

  9. Unbelievable! this is happened to the modern country like Canada. Obvious, there is no clear plan from IRCC and Universities. Gentlemen, we are talking about future lives of thousands of students here. Please put yourself on their shoes.

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