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Canada student visa tracker: The latest updates to plan your return

Canada student visa updates 2021:
Weigh the good and bad based on latest Canada student visa updates before taking the leap. Source: Sean M. Haffey/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP

Students searching “Canada student visa updates 2021” would find both good and bad news. First, the good news: the Student Direct Stream is speeding up processing for students in certain countries. The bad: permit delays are still keeping certain groups out.

Eight in 10 Indian students applying for visas via the SDS route have had their applications approved. Study permit approval rates increased for Indian students after the country was added to the list in 2018. The figures are also positive for Chinese students, whose visa applications have received an 89% approval rate so far this year.

This indicates a “faster, easier, and more accessible” process for students in SDS-approved countries. The SDS expedites study permit processing for students from select countries including Brazil, Columbia, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Here, we revisit how students can get in with a student visa based on the latest Canada student visa updates 2021 — and what to do if you can’t.

Canada student visa updates 2021

Study permit approval rates increased for Indian and Chinese students after being added to Canada’s SDS list. Source: Bénédicte Millaud/AFP

Canada student visa updates 2021: How to get in

You can apply for a study permit online or on paper, together with the relevant documents and fees. The Canadian visa approval is currently divided into Visa Approval in Principle (AIP) and biometrics (using fingerprints and digital photograph). Applicants may also have to undergo a medical exam and produce a police certificate to enter the country.

As of August 9, fully-vaccinated students have been entering Canada without the three-night stay at a government-approved hotel. There were more than half a million international students in Canada at all levels of study last year — of this, 34% of inbound students came from India, while 22% came from China.

Canada student visa updates 2021

Why are Indian students being turned away more than usual? It may be related to pandemic planning. Source: David Vujanovic/AFP

Indian students still facing rejections, backlog

Visa consultants in India are reporting that thousands of Canadian student visa applications are still being rejected. This includes students who are currently studying online after getting their AIP, which is puzzling as they are ready and qualified to head back to university.

Education consultant Narpat Singh Babbar told The Indian Express that “students whose cases were not strong from their courses’ point of view or on the basis of their financial conditions” were refused. “If one has to do one year’s work in a couple of months then it is difficult for them and they are refusing visas at the first stage so that they also get some time to prepare themselves and then accommodate this huge backlog in the coming six to seven months,” he explained.

Students who have been rejected are encouraged to strengthen their application; perhaps pivot to a course more suited to them based on past academic achievement. Consultants are able to put forth a stronger case if you clearly outline your academic profile, the reason for studying in Canada, and post-study plans.

Indian students are also wondering what is being done about the application backlog delaying their return to Canada. Earlier in August, the Canadian High Commission in India opened a dedicated biometrics appointment queue at centres across the country to speed up application.

Though this new system seeks to expedite Canadian visa processing for Indian students, Indian students may only enter from a third country as long as the travel ban is in effect.