Nearly 169,000 students are awaiting Canadian approval of their study permit applications, as of Aug. 15, according to the latest figures from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shared with Global News Thursday.
It is unclear how many of those applicants were due to begin classes next month.
Federal data shows that as of the end of July, 34 per cent of pending international student visa applications were taking longer to process than government standards dictate.
“Despite the prioritizing of study permit applications for students looking to begin their studies in September, it is expected that some international students may not have their application processed on time to begin their studies in person for the fall 2022 intake period,” said Nancy Caron, a spokesperson for IRCC.
More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, immigration applications to come to Canada continue to face delays.
However, the IRCC is projecting wait times will reduce in the coming months, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser on Wednesday during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C.
The agency is hopeful it will return to normal processing times for study and work permits by the end of the year, Fraser said.
“We’re going to have a dramatically improved situation by the end of this year,” he told reporters.