The Canadian High Commission in India, together with VFS Global, is introducing a new arrangement for the Canadian visa for students. From now on, student applications may join a dedicated biometrics appointment queue in hopes of speeding up visa processing at application centres across the country.
According to the High Commission, students who have already booked a biometrics appointment should cancel their existing appointment, then book an earlier date on the dedicated queue using the Appointment Management System (AMS). Bear in mind, this service is only for study permits, short-term study, and returning students.
Indian students are also reminded to stay vigilant of visa scams during this time. “Customers are advised to beware of fraudulent entities who charge fees from customers for scheduling appointments, using VFS Global’s name or independently,” said VFS Global.
(1/3) Attention students! As of 30 July, visa application centres (VACs) across India will open a dedicated biometrics appointment queue for student applicants. Please book your appointment now. pic.twitter.com/krNHF05nIZ
— Canada in India (@CanadainIndia) July 30, 2021
Canadian visa for students: Major backlog in India
This backlog on study permit processing is only one of the many factors complicating Indian students’ return to Canada. In late July, India’s external affairs ministry said that delays related to the Canadian visa for students are keeping out 33,000 individuals hoping to return to campus for the new semester.
Though this new system seeks to expedite Canadian visa processing for Indian students, Canada’s travel ban against India is still in effect. Indian students will not be able to fly directly into Canada until August 21, at least.
Students from India are also concerned about vaccination. For example, those who have received the Sputnik V vaccine in India have been forced to revaccinate in Canada, as the Russian vaccine is not approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organisation.
Universities such as McMaster University, the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario require students to receive at least one dose of an approved vaccine to qualify for campus accommodation.
This affects Indian students such as Nyle Maker from McMaster University, who got a dose of the Pfizer vaccine before the university relaxed its rules. However, he was unable to secure student accommodation and got placed on the waiting list instead.