Canadian universities and colleges are concerned over the slower rates of approval of Canadian study permits to the international students due to the long strike of the immigration staff at Canadian embassies and missions abroad. However, Canadian Immigration data indicates that about 5000 more study permits were issued to international students this year from May to July compared to the same period last year. Canada immigration claims that processing times for Canadian study permits are with in two months which is a normal practice, however, the Canadian educational institutions are worried that longer processing times at Canadian embassies and missions abroad is forcing foreign students to chose other countries over Canada. International students pay higher tuition fees and are source of considerable income each year.
Canadian Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) statistical data has revealed that over 45000 Canadian study permits have been issued from May to July 2013 which is about 10 per cent more than the previous year for the same period. However, Canadian universities are worried that a large number of international students who are enrolled will not be able to obtained the required Canadian study permit to start their study programs in time.
Canadian universities and colleges are concerned that many international students will head to other popular education destinations such as Australia, United Kingdom or United States due to uncertainty in Canadian study permit application processing.
The spokesperson for Canadian immigration minister Chris Alexander, Andrea Khanjin, has said in a statement, “CIC is working to ensure the timely processing of study permits for international students.”
Andrea said, “The approval rate is 79 per cent, which is also above last year’s rate.” “There has been a six per cent increase in the number of student applications compared to last year,” added Ms Khanjin, “and we have issued 12 per cent more student visas than last year.”
Canada admitted about 40,000 international students during the period of May 2012 to July 2012. It appears that students who did not apply for Canadian study permits well in advance will not be able to start their study programs on the first day of university this year. However, online application submission process has minimized the affect of study permit application processing despite that fact that Canadian immigration staff is on strike.