Canada is clearly one of the most attractive, if not the most beautiful, countries for international students (with Indians and Chinese leading the park) but concerns have been expressed about how difficult it has been for some qualified applicants to get a visa.
A professor at the University of New Brunswick, Fazley Siddiq, said applicants from some countries e.g. Pakistan and Nigeria are facing incredible challenges getting visas to come into Canada, a situation which he tagged frustration for both students and Universities.
Siddiq lamented the stringent security checks put in place in the country which has made it extremely difficult for any applicant to get the visa.
Some Universities in the country, especially in Atlantic Canada, are so desperate for international students that they have to “bend over backward” to make it possible yet the stringent security checks remain a major concern, he said.
The situation has however gotten better for applicants from countries like Nigeria but remains a major threat to applicants from countries like Pakistan where for some years, none of the eight students given acceptance letters in Siddiq’s department was able to get a visa.
Each year, Canada enjoys billions of dollars as economic benefits from diversified classrooms it achieves by attracting international students, and it looks to increase these benefits.
As Canada seeks to attract even more students, the visa difficulties are causing many international students to pursue other options hence the federal government of Canada has been urged by Pakistan’s High Commission in Ottawa to solve the problems faced by Pakistani students.
A spokesman for the commission said Canada will continue losing high-quality students and significant revenue each year if the government fail to address the visa problem.
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