Canadian government has decided to shut down the student visa application processing at some of the Canadian visa offices. The student visa applications will be processed in other embassies instead.
The visa services in Canadian visa offices in Japan, Germany, Malaysia, and Bangladesh have been closed.
Now the student visa application from Japan will be processed in Manila, Philippines. Visa application from Germany will be served in Vienna. The applications from Bangladesh and Malaysia will be processed in Canadian visa office in Singapore.
Brent Poole, the president of the Canadian Association of Public Schools International, says foreign students contribute $6.5 billion a year to the Canadian economy, and more than $1.5 billion in B.C. alone, and the delays would impact more than classroom numbers.
“We were blindsided by it,” said Poole.
The closure of visa services will increase the wait time to 13 weeks causing long delays in processing of the visa application.
There is a close competition between countries like UK, and Australia where the processing time is only few days.
“Fourteen days to get study permit to go to Australia, 13 weeks to go to Canada — that’s going to impact on their decision, which is going to impact on our numbers,” said Poole.
The processing times for study visas is already long in majority of the Canadian visa offices abroad. For example, it takes about 12-16 weeks for a study permit application to be decided in Canadian High Commission in Pakistan. There are only very few Canadian visa offices taking just couple of weeks to decide the application.
Students waiting for that long doing nothing may opt not to even apply for Canadian student visa and just start their studies in countries like Australia or UK.