There is a need for greater transparency with better coordination among Designated Learning Institutions, IRCC, and the provinces, as per the report.
There is a sudden and unparalleled rise in the number of study permit applications, as per a recent report by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. They attribute it to the lifting of travel restrictions in the post-pandemic period. According to the ICEF Monitor release, the numbers are steadily rising as more post-secondary students plan to return to Canada to resume or begin their studies.
The record rise in the number of study permit applications following the shift from online learning to classroom studies was the main topic of discussion during the recently concluded online symposium of the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CIBE).
Most study permit applications were during the period from January to April 2022. Students from India and the Philippines account for the most study permit applications. International students prefer studying in Canada because of the safety and stability besides the quality of the education.
Addressing the backlog issue for study permits
Longer processing times are because of the massive rise in study permit applications. The sudden growth in the number of study permit applications resulted in over 56 percent growth in 2021, according to IRCC. The growth trend continued in 2022, as Canada received over 175,000 applications in the initial three months of the New Year.
The number of students waiting for the initial processing of their study permits stands at a whopping 200,000 as of July 17th. Twelve weeks is the typical processing time for a study permit application as per the IRCC processing time tool.
There are nearly 35 recommendations to address the backlog as per the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Migration report. The committee tabled these reports in the parliament to improve immigration policy and addressing processing times issues.
Expanding Student Direct Stream’s scope – It is necessary to increase the number of participating countries as the processing time for study permits through Student Direct Stream is only 20 days. The committee recommends the inclusion of West African countries in the Student Direct Stream participating countries.
Improving collaboration and transparency – The report pressed for effective collaboration between DLIs, IRCC, and provinces in regulating recruiters to enable potential applicants to detect frauds and scams. There is a need for greater transparency while informing the IRCC selection criteria, besides better flexibility to determine a candidate’s eligibility for meeting the financial criteria.