India on Thursday said that it has urged Canadian authorities to expedite the processing of visa applications of Indian students.

“The High Commission of India in Ottawa continue to be engaged with relevant Canadian interlocutors regarding problems faced by India students due to delay in issue of visas,” the India High Commission said. “Highlighting the fact that Indian students have already deposited tuition fees with the Canadian institutions, we requested authorities to expedite processing of visa applications…”

The development came after reports highlighted that the processing time of visa applications to Canada has increased from an average of four weeks to 12 weeks.

This affected students who are required to be present at university campuses by the first or second week of September for orientation programmes, according to Business Standard.

In Haryana’s Kurukshetra, a 23-year-old died by suicide on August 19 allegedly after being upset over the delay in getting a student visa to Canada. His visa, however, arrived a day after his body was found floating in a canal, PTI reported.

On Thursday, India said that universities in Canada have approached the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship regarding the delay.

“They are communication with incoming international students, including students from India, providing them with timely, actional able information about all issues related to the study permit application,” the High Commission said. “Some institutions will provide a remote option for students unable to reach Canada at the start of the term because they have not yet received a visa.”

Meanwhile, the Consulate General of Canada in an email to Business Standard said that the
delay in visas was due to a rise in the number of study permit applications this year.

“In the first five months of 2022, IRCC [Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada] received about 1,23,500 study permit applications from Indian residents or 55% more than during the same period in 2019,” it said.