Many International Students Suffer Visa Delays to Study in Canada

At a time when majority of international students are packing their bags from all the world, those heading towards Canada are still unaware whether they will be allowed into Canada in time to start school or not. The ongoing strike of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers, PAFSO, has resulted in an unusually excessive backlog in processing visas of all types, including those required for international students landing at Canadian colleges and universities.

A PAFSO representative revealed that in wake of the ongoing strike, the rate of visa approvals has dropped by 15 per cent, along with a 5 per cent decline in requests for visas. He mentioned that the backlog has occurred at a very unfortunate time for Canadian schools as they are attempting to raise the country’s profile as a destination for top foreign students. A federally commissioned panel is aiming to double Canada’s international enrolments by 2022, however majority of higher education officials’ fear that troubles caused by visa delays will damage Canada’s reputation in a way that it can have lasting consequences.

It is recognizable that foreign undergraduate students are a major source of revenue to universities, as they pay at least around $18,641 in tuition and fees annually, while overall international students spent an estimated $7.7-billion in 2012. Director of international relations for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Gail Bowkett, mentioned in a statement that “it is potentially a very serious issue,” while explaining that “perception is key, and if a perception starts spreading that Canada’s difficult to get into, then that really could damage our brand.”


  1. There’s way too much pandering to foreign countries to ship their students, then workers, over here.
    Those in the education system have rigged it so colleges and universities become overly reliant on foreign dollars all the while making it tough for Canadians to pay for a higher education. This is one practice which undermines everything we as citizens and taxpayers have worked for. First they pander to overseas students then offer them jobs here with little or no regard for the people who have lived here for generations.
    If they want an education so bad let other countries build better schools with a proper curriculum to meet the needs of their own people. Canada should stop whoring out it’s resources and jobs lust to line he pockets of a few!

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