As diplomatic tensions between Canada and India increase, advisers for overseas educational institutions in Mumbai have been bombarded with inquiries from students wishing to study in Canada.
“Students are being cautious, and their families are concerned.” “Some are deferring their applications in the hope that things will improve,” said Shekhar Bidwai of Chinmay Education Consultancy.
The confusion surrounding Canada’s continuing diplomatic squabble with India hit a new high on Friday, when the Canadian government made the decision to withdraw 41 diplomats from India and suspend visas as well as consular services in Chandigarh, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.
For a lot of people, this translates to a delay in processing their visas for Canada, which is already notorious for having a relatively low visa success rate.
Over the last five years, over a million Indian students have relocated to Canada for educational purposes. According to the worldwide education data platform Erudera, India has the most overseas students in Canada, with 3,19,00. This represents over thirty percent of the total number of international students holding study permits in Canada (8,07,750).
According to a RedSeer Strategy Consultants poll, “over 11% of Indian students studying in Canada are from Maharashtra, with a considerable portion coming from smaller cities, although larger cities like Mumbai and Pune lead the pack”.
“I’ve already received at least ten calls from concerned students who want to know how the recent developments may affect their visa applications.” Visas will almost certainly be delayed due to a reduction in staff. Parents and pupils have voiced concern, but we are optimistic that the situation will improve soon,” said Manoj Palwe, an immigration counsellor headquartered in Pune.
He noted that “with three Canadian consulate offices closing, students applying in 2024 would be impacted; however, those attending this year may be unaffected because the September intake is nearly complete”.
“In terms of students choosing Canada, I’m not very optimistic about next year due to political tensions combined with the market scenario in Canada,” said Amit Jain of Scholars Abroad Consulting Pvt. Ltd. Students who are reconsidering applying to Canada have few options this season because it is too late to apply to institutions in most other nations.”
Omkar Kulkarni of Nashik has contacted Edwise International, a Pune-based consultancy, about his impending course in Canada. “My family was concerned, and my friends warned me that my visa might be delayed due to the political situation.” I was intrigued by the current changes, but I just received my visa earlier this month, so I’m relieved.”
However, not everyone is that fortunate. “Given the current state of relations between the two countries, one is unable to forecast what will happen, so I have postponed my application for the autumn intake of 2024.” “I would have preferred the upcoming winter intake instead, but I don’t want to take the risk,” said a Pune-based student planning to study an MBA in Canada.