New Delhi: The High Commission of India (HCI) in Ottawa has requested the Canadian authorities to “expedite the processing of visa applications for students from India”.
It has also highlighted the fact that “Indian students have already deposited tuition fees”.
While Canadian universities have raised this concern with the relevant ministry, they have put in place contingency plans “to support incoming students who do not receive their study permits on time” when term begins in September.
“Some institutions will offer a remote option for students unable to reach Canada early in term because they have not yet received a visa. HCI in Ottawa said in a recent advisory, students can contact the university/institutions to discuss which courses have a distance option, and for some to discuss their options.
“For students desirous of postponing their admission, the University/Institute is advising the students of their options, including deferring the offer of admission to a later period or considering exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis. is included. Affected students are encouraged to send a request for information and immediate processing via an IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) web form for study permit applications that are submitted and completed but student direct Streams (SDS) have exceeded the current processing time for the scheme. HCI advises such affected Indian students to contact the relevant Canadian institution/university and work with them to find the best available options. The mission will continue to engage with Canadian authorities and Canadian educational institutions,” the advisory says.
The HCI in Ottawa has received several petitions from Indian students who have secured admission to Canadian universities but are unable to attend due to delays in the processing of their visas and student permits.
Meanwhile, the parents of such students have issued a statement highlighting their plight. “This year has been a nightmare for students seeking study permits. The IRCC website states (those) who apply via the SDS route (student direct route) from certain countries (approved by Canada) to receive a rapid approval of the study permit in approximately 20 days. India is an approved country for this scheme and hence a lot of students opt to apply through this route which requires them to pay first year tuition fees so that they can get early approval,” The parent’s statement says.
“There are currently about 500 unique student study permits with great academic profiles, pending at top Canadian universities, most of whom applied in 2-3 months via the SDS route who are still waiting for their study permits. (they) had options in other countries and they chose Canada (but) being subjected to the same category as the rest…. The irony here is that there are many students who chose not to pay first year tuition and opted for the regular route, they got the permit in 2-3 weeks… Requesting universities to conduct online classes till these students get their permit and they can reach it. Affected students and The statement of his parents said that till now the campus has not been met.
HCI in Ottawa says Canada has emerged as a preferred destination for Indian students for college education in recent years. “Currently, over 2.3 lakh students from India have enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Canada. (They) are making a positive contribution to the Canadian economy, including an estimated $4 billion in tuition fees…. Continue to engage with relevant Canadian negotiators, including Canadian educational institutions and universities, regarding problems faced by Indian students due to delays in visa issuance,” says the HCI.
A spokesperson for the Canadian High Commission in India had recently told TOI: “Canada has seen an increase in the number of study permit applications this year. In the first five months of 2022, the IRCC received about 123,500 study permit applications from Indian residents, or 55% more than during the same period in 2019 before the pandemic. Between January and May 2022, the IRCC processed 221,522 study permit applications. About 50% of those applications were from Indian international students. This is compared to 128,021 processed during the same period in 2019 before the pandemic. This represents a 73% increase in the processing of study permits so far in 2022 compared to the same time period in 2019.
“IRCC is committed to processing study permit applications as quickly as possible to ensure that students make it in time for the fall semester. The summer period is typically the time of year when the IRCC processes the most study permit applications,” the Canadian mission statement said.