International students contribute to a large number of the post-secondary student population in Canada, and permit delays are causing major havoc for those aspiring to study in Canada. By mid-august of 2022, over 170,000 international students were marking time for permits to study in Canada.
The executive director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Association, Mackenzy Metcalfe says that the delays create a plethora of challenges for international students.
“What’s really difficult about the delay is students don’t really make their decisions as to which university they’re actually going to attend, especially until May or the end of their school year in high school, and that’s the same for international students,” said Metcalfe.
The IRCC i.e. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, is the government agency that looks after international permits for students. The IRCC has hired 10 percent more employees to help with backlogs, however the agency still lacks enough resources to complete the permits on time according to Metcalfe.
“12 weeks puts you right at the start of the school year, and we know students who have been accepted by their university, have rented apartments in the city they want to study in, have paid their tuition, and are just waiting for the green light from IRCC to be able to travel to Canada and pursue their studies officially,” the executive director added.
Metcalfe said that international students have to decide whether they take risk and stay enrolled at these classes in the hope that IRCC will approve their visa or drop out of school before the add/drop date, indicating they would get their money back and reapply next year which is a really difficult position for any student to be in.
Metcalfe concluded, “So I think everybody is having a really difficult time figuring out what to do, especially these international students, and just trying to do what we can to support these students through this difficult period and hopefully prepare to welcome them to campus in the coming weeks so they can study in Canada just as they hoped to.”
Students are excited to return to classrooms and transitioning back to virtual learning would be difficult for both students and schools.
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