International students are facing serious mental health problems due to study permit delays. They have been waiting for almost a year for their Canadian study permit to be processed, and are all in limbo as to their future.
Certain Students said that they have been taking medication for depression, with one student saying that they are suicidal.
Some have been waiting endlessly for their visas to be processed since March 2020, and say they have had no information or contact from IRCC to update them on their visa application status.
While, others were given an agreement in principle to enter Canada, as part of IRCC’s two-stage application process that was initiated last year and subsequently signed up for university courses. But, they have since been rejected or denied visas in the second stage.
“This entire scenario has been so miserable – and nobody has been held responsible,” said an Indian student who did not want to be named.
“You would not believe what has been happening. Some students have been taking medication for depression (antidepressants) . Our parents have been suffering too,” she said.
“We are in depression,” another student said. “Sometimes we think we [have lost] everything, all hope… then we think to [take] wrong steps like suicide,” she said.
Visa processing backlogs have resulted in long waits for international students who are seeking to come to Canada on study permits but are unable to do so due to study permit delays.
Indian students in particular have been worst affected. At the time of compiling this news IRCC’s website estimated that study permits for Indian applicants would be issued within fourteen (14) weeks.
IRCC said it is “rapidly adapting, innovating and evolving” to best serve those who wish to come to the country.
The spokesperson also said that while none of the processing centers have been completely shut down, visa application centers (VACs) around the world have on many occasions had to temporarily close, including in India, which has delayed processing.
“The health and safety of our staff and clients are IRCC’s top priority when deciding to resume services at a visa application centre,” they said
“In late November 2020, VACs in India were able to reopen and start offering biometrics appointments and priority was given to applicants applying for a study permit and those applying for Canadian permanent residence in the family class as a spouse, common-law partner, or dependent child. We will continue to process those as quickly as possible.”