Canada is currently struggling with a massive backlog of 2.1 million immigration applications. This is a 98,796 increase from mid-April’s backlog and a 187,165 increase from mid-March. Many study visa applicants are still in the dark whether their visa application will be approved or not.
We received more than 70 emails raising the issue of not getting a decision on their study visa application for more than 8 months now. Moreover, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser recently said that processing standards will likely only return to normal in 2023. However, situation is different here.
A lot of applicants already received a decision on their application who applied in the beginning of 2022 or after. Some have even landed in Canada for their studies. But there are still a lot of applicants struck in IRCC backlog who applied in the end of 2021.
Almost all of these applications are struck in the final stage of approval. They had biometrics and medical exams updated in their system by December 2021, but haven’t heard since then. Below is a snippet of one such application. There has not been any movement since December 2021.
Thus, this has put their education and lives on hold. International students pay around $18,000-$20,000 in fees + they open a GIC account with $10,000 in Canadian financial institution. Spending so much money and waiting under uncertainty has been ruining their mental health.
Nikita Mary, an international applicant recently told INC that “It is an unfair treatment for all students”. She said that some students who applied in March have received approval while some who applied in November are still waiting.
Mary also mentioned that “Their career and money both are at stake”. She has been waiting for a reply from the IRCC. Mary believes that “even a positive word from IRCC regarding clearing backlogs would give students the hope they are losing.”
There are several other students who have been waiting since last summer and the fall for their Canadian study permits.
Another student, Inderjit Singh told INC that he applied for a student visa in November for St. Clair and hasn’t received any response yet. Also, he said that there are many other students like him who are facing the same problem.
Singh also mentioned that “students are in tension as their future is at stake.” St. Clair College is among many schools affected by the backlog. Moreover, the college does offer refunds to students who do not get a study visa approved.
Various students have sent out emails to IRCC in the past months and have requested IRCC to “not ignore their voices.” IRCC said that the government has made some progress. It said that from January to March this year, they have processed about 136,000 applications.
However, this still does not solve the plight of students all across the globe. It is very unfortunate that the students have no option other than waiting. The students who reached out to INC say that it has been a miserable time for them. Also, they say that they have been under a lot of pressure and depression.
It is high time that IRCC addresses the concerns of thousands of students. They do not deserve to be left hanging like this. It is their career that is at stake. No student should be put in this situation. IRCC should expedite such applications since all the approval stages have already been completed.