canadian student visa
Many students looking to study in Canada are faced with visa delays. Source: Ahmad Yusni/AFP

While lockdowns have been lifted, backlogs in visa applications are still increasing.

Statistics from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) show that the country is still dealing with a backlog of 2.1 million immigration applicationsCIC News reports. 

That’s the reality for many applying for their Canadian student visa — with many facing the horrors of having their application delayed or rejected. 

A 2021 report by the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration shows that there were 91,439 rejections amid 225,402 visa applications

If you are applying for your Canadian student visa, you must be worried or anxious about what lies ahead.

With that said, we got you covered by answering five of the most commonly asked questions about the delay in this kind of visa applications: 

Five most asked questions about Canadian student visa applications:

canadian visa

Canadian student visa applications are taking longer than expected due to a high number of applicants. Source: Orlando Ramirez/AFP

How long does it take for my Canadian student visa to be approved?

We get it: you can’t stop the urge to hit that refresh button and discover whether your Canadian student visa application has been approved.

The truth is that each application is different, so the amount of time taken to process will vary. 

On that note, the government does provide a platform for you to check the processing time based on the type of visa you applied for and your country of origin. 

Backlogs in visa applications, however, can cause delays of up to four months, The Economic Times reports.

Do note that the processing time starts when the office receives your complete application, regardless of the avenue you used, according to IRCC.

If you apply via email, your application starts when the mail arrives in the mailroom. Similarly, your application will be processed when you submit your application online or in person.

Why is my Canada student visa application taking so long?

There are several reasons: 

A high volume of applications

IRCC has been unable to cope with the influx of applications since the pandemic restrictions have eased. 

Unsuccessful payment of fees

Students might have paid the wrong amount or missed out on certain payments

Incomplete paperwork

Like most visa applications, there are many documents to prepare. 

Naturally, you might leave out some copies. This will affect the time it takes to process your visa application.  

Pro tip: Ensure you have all your school records, health records, and finances settled before applying for your student visa

canadian student visa

Applying for a Canadian student visa can be overwhelming, but not impossible. Source: Richard Bouhet/AFP

What to do if my visa application is delayed?

Delays in visa applications can be stressful, but it’s important to stay calm.

In the event of an undue processing delay, you could send a web form or call the IRCC customer centre to request an update on the status of your application. 

Aside from that, you could also contact your university directly to find out if there are any remote options available or what should be done if you cannot do your course online. 

How can I avoid delays or refusals in processing my visa?

Here’s what the IRCC suggests you can do to avoid prolonging the process:

  1. Ensure that you read the application guide carefully, follow the instructions, and fill out and sign all the forms required 
  2. Provide your fingerprint and pictures within 30 days of receiving the request
  3. Include all the documents required in the visa application 
  4. Use the correct method of payment to pay the fee and include the proof of payment in your visa application

Worried that you’ll miss out on something in the process? Have a checklist. It will help you to avoid missing out on any steps or documents before submitting your application. 

How do I know if my visa application is approved?

This is a common question that many students ask.

For those that submitted their application online, you will be able to check your application status on your account.

All you have to do is sign in to your account and click “check status and messages” under the “view my submitted application of profiles” section.

If that doesn’t work, don’t worry.

Once your application is approved, you will receive the confirmation in your email.