Indian students facing visa delays because of Canadian immigration backlogs are unsure if they will make it in time for the fall semester– as Ottawa works out whether it can prioritize applications for September. More than 230,000 students from India are currently enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Canada.
Students, universities, immigration consultants and even the High Commission of India have raised concerns about delayed visas putting many students’ studies at risk. Given the last-minute rush of applications and delay in visa approvals, around 10-15 per cent Indian students may defer their admissions to the January 2023 semester.
Ahmedabad-based consultant Ankit Mistry, said that if their admissions gets deferred to January, the students lose nearly a year. “Earlier the processing time of application was 20 to 45 days, now, it has increased to 3-6 months. This has created problems for students.”
Meanwhile, the High Commission of India in Ottawa, Canada issued an advisory for Indian students enrolled in Canadian universities and colleges whose visa applications have been delayed.
- Universities are informed that they are communicating with incoming international students, including students from India, providing them with timely, actionable information about all issues related to the study permit application process.
- They already have in place contingency plans, in order to support those incoming students who do not receive their study permit in time to be present on campus when term begins in September.
- Some institutions will provide a remote option for students unable to reach Canada at the start of the term because they have not yet received a visa. Students can contact the university/ institutions to find out which courses have a remote option, and to discuss their options in case some do not.
- For students wishing to defer their admission, the university/institution is communicating to students their options including deferring the offer of admission to a later term or consider exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
- Affected students are encouraged 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 the Student Direct Stream (SDS) scheme.