In 2021, Canadian immigration reports a rise in applications for study permits
November 22, 2021

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New applications for Canadian study permits dropped by roughly half in 2020 – compared to 2019 – as the pandemic took hold. According to figures from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), a total of 847,852 applications were submitted in 2019, down from just under 442,000 the previous year.

However, in 2021, application volumes are expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels, thanks to a mix of deferred demand from last year and this year's student class.

Through August 2021, the IRCC has received over 730,000 additional student permit applications, an almost 27% increase over the same period in 2019. Between January and May of this year, more than half of the total volume of applications was filed.

A key deadline for IRCC processing coincides with the spike in application quantities. All completed applications received by May 15, 2021, would be processed by August 6, 2021, according to the immigration ministry. Except for incomplete applications, IRCC has since said that nearly all files received by the deadline were processed on time. Immigration officers are working hard to expedite the processing of files received after May 15th.

However, approximately 330,000 study visa applications were filed from June to August 2021, and there are concerns that some students would have to defer admission until January 2022 while IRCC continues to work through the backlog this year.

The increase in application volumes for 2021 mirrors broader enrollment trends in the five years running up to 2020. Indian students account for over 22% of all applications so far in 2021, with other significant pre-pandemic growth areas such as Bangladesh, Colombia, Iran, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Vietnam also showing increased vigor this year.

IRCC provides estimated processing times for new applications. IRCC also keeps its COVID recommendations for applicants and incoming students up to date on a regular basis.

Source: ICEF

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