International students in Canada are experiencing delays to processing their study permits rise to nearly three months. Many students are unable to leave Canada and visit their home countries or travel elsewhere. Students cannot leave Canada without first preserving their status or renewing their permits and visas.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada says the longer wait is due to the complexity and volume of applications. Yet the federal government continues to publicly recommend that students apply to renew their permits 30 days before they expire. Such advice is misguided.
In order for Canada to be competitive in the global business of international education, it must provide quick approvals for document renewals. International graduate students are highly mobile and cannot afford to be stranded in Canada for months on end, especially during the summer period.
The delays are also occurring at a time when institutions are actively trying to boost international enrollment.
Another group affected by the wait times are international high school students who hope to start their university programs in the fall session.