Fast-track visa for Canada attracts overseas students

A program by CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) has enabled the overseas students to get visa processed within a short span of just a few weeks. 

Prior to the introduction of this program nearly nine months ago, the students had no option but to wait for a period extending up to eight months before knowing the fate of their application for Canadian student visa.

And for some, this even meant missing the deadlines of their study program in Canada although they had already paid the course fee. 

The concerted efforts of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges and Canada’s visa offices in India have resulted in this initiation of this joint pilot program which is being welcomed by the Indian students and the Canadian colleges.

While the applicants for Canadian student visas consider this program as a welcome relief since they no longer need to wait for a long time of eight months before receiving their visas. The Canadian colleges, on the other hand, acknowledge this program as a step forward towards making Canada a competitor for countries like UK, US and Australia. 

All the three countries attract foreign students into their countries and earn huge revenue through this channel. 

Nearly 4000 applications have already been received by various Canada visa offices in India under this program and the average processing time for such applications ranges between two to two-and-a-half weeks. 

Although, this program has significantly reduced the visa processing time; but it has a tight process for screening of Canadian visa applications from Indian students. 

As per the pilot program, the applicant must have –
• Proficiency in English language; and 
• Sufficient financial resources.

Canada welcomes good immigrants and good students and this program promises both, said international education director at Centennial College, Virginia Macchiavello. No wonder, this college has seen the number of Indian students jump from 450 to 975. 

The foreign student education sector is a major contributor to the Canadian economy as the $6.5 billion were contributed from the foreign students studying in Canada, as per the 2009 government report. 

The pilot program between Canada and India is part of the international strategies that enable delivery of such programs through partnerships and globalization of curriculum for students in Canada.