Visa delays leaving international students in limbo for fall semester

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says the government is looking at ways to prioritize visa applications for international students set to start school this coming semester as many are left wondering whether they'll make it to Canada in time.

Students, universities, immigration consultants and even the High Commission of India have raised concerns about delayed visas putting many students' studies at risk.

Some have already paid tuition, adding significant financial stress to the already difficult task of moving to a new country and starting school.

Federal data shows 34 per cent of pending international student visa applications are taking longer to process than government standards dictate they should, as of the end of July.

Fraser says the Immigration Department is processing more study permits than ever before, and the delays are being driven by the huge increase in demand.

He hopes to ensure students who are supposed to begin classes in September are prioritized before the start of the semester.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2022.

The Canadian Press