Indo Canadian political war impacting study abroad canadian University dreams
Indo Canadian political war impacting study abroad canadian University dreams. Amidst the reassurances from Canadian universities and their Indian representatives regarding the transient nature of recent diplomatic tensions between India and Canada, a segment of aspiring Indian students planning to study abroad finds itself swayed by the escalating dispute. The ongoing diplomatic discord between the two nations has ignited concerns within the Indian student community, especially those who have submitted applications for student visas. While some applicants have successfully secured their visas, a sense of unease has settled in as Canadian educational institutions have recommended awaiting the next admission schedule.
Presently, there have been no reported instances of delays in the issuance of student visas, a process that typically spans a month. Nevertheless, India’s decision to temporarily halt visa processing has introduced an element of unpredictability into the equation.
Apprehensions loom regarding potential future delays in the processing of student visas. A number of Canadian universities, echoing these concerns, are advising students to contemplate deferring their enrollment to the subsequent available intake as a precautionary measure. Traditionally, three intake periods exist each year, encompassing the January/Winter intake, May/Summer intake, and September/Fall intake.
“We are optimistic that the diplomatic tensions are a temporary setback. Thus far, the Canadian government has not issued any directives, and visa issuance continues as usual. However, if Canada reciprocates by suspending visa issuance, delays might ensue,” remarked an immigration agent based in Chandigarh.
Canada may potentially reduce the allocation of student visas As per an analysis conducted by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) within their research report titled ‘Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada Data,’ the influx of Indian immigrants to Canada has surged threefold since 2013. This upswing translates into a remarkable 260 percent increase from 2013 to 2022, resulting in the escalation of Indian permanent residents from 32,828 to 118,095. An estimated 47 percent of international students in Canada originate from India.
Various factors, including stringent immigration policies in the United States, language barriers, comparatively affordable education in contrast to the US, Australia, and the UK, along with cultural affiliations, have firmly cemented Canada’s status on the priority list for Punjabi students seeking foreign educational and employment opportunities.
Jasmeet Singh Bhatia, proprietor of an immigration firm based in Mohali, asserted that concerns regarding Canada potentially imposing limits on Indian student admissions in the future are well-founded, given that the Canadian government has already unveiled a diversification policy.
“Canada has been contemplating diversification for approximately five years, especially after the observation in 2018-19 that 80 percent of students in certain colleges were Indian nationals. Public colleges in Canada were instructed to diversify, essentially attracting students from diverse nations,” elucidated Jasmeet Singh Bhatia.
The primary motivation behind Canada’s inclination towards a diversification policy was the apprehension of over-reliance on India in terms of student admissions.
“Canada aims to reduce its dependency on any single country, particularly India. Simultaneously, Canada’s vast geographical expanse provides ample opportunities for immigrants,” added Jasmeet Singh Bhatia.
Indian students broaden their horizons beyond Canada for higher education Given the concerns over delayed student visas and potential restrictions on the number of Indian students admitted to Canada, Indian students are now exploring alternative destinations for their academic pursuits, including Australia, the UK, and the US. We engaged with several students in Chandigarh who are now considering Australia and other nations.
“I have no inclination towards studying in Canada now. I do not intend to settle there, especially considering the difficulties faced by those who are already in Canada seeking employment. My aspiration is to study in the US,” asserted Bhanu Pratap, a resident of Derabassi, Mohali.
Lakshmi Sharma, a student from Ludhiana, also expressed reservations about selecting Canada for her education.
“I am contemplating a move to Australia, but my ultimate dream is to study in London. I do not wish to go to Canada, as it appears no different from Punjab. The ongoing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada have significantly influenced the decisions of Indian students. Some are inclined towards the UK…plans related to Canada are being reconsidered,” remarked Lakshmi Sharma.
Interestingly, a few students hailing from Punjab, like Lisa from Patiala, still regard Canada as their preferred destination.
“For my higher education, I am keen on Canada. I am planning to pursue my master’s degree there. I lean towards Canada for my advanced studies, primarily because my cousins are settled there. I am awaiting the processing of my study visa. Many students still hold a preference for Canada. However, if my visa application faces obstacles, I would contemplate Australia as an alternative,” Lisa affirmed.
Patiala-based singer Punjab Singh Cheema asserted that while immigration agents may not publicly acknowledge it, the ongoing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada are likely to exert a negative influence on Indian students.
“The diplomatic tensions between India and Canada will undeniably leave an impact. Students will inevitably explore other countries like Australia, the UK, or the US,” observed Punjab Singh.
Manpreet Singh, a student based in Patiala, also disclosed that he chose Australia over Canada due to the escalating tensions between the two nations.
“Not only me, but five to six of my friends have also decided to pursue higher education in Australia,” he disclosed.
Opting for the UK, US, or Australia over Canada may entail increased financial outlays for Indian students. The UK, for instance, has raised visa fees for students and visitors, with student visas now carrying a price tag of GBP 490, reflecting a GBP 115 hike for visitors.
Furthermore, the Australian government has revised the financial threshold for international students. Starting from October 1, 2023, student visa applicants will be required to demonstrate a minimum of AU$24,505 in savings (equivalent to approximately Rs 20.40 lakhs) to cover their annual living expenses. Indo Canadian political war impacting study abroad canadian University dreams.
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