Strict security checks denying Canadian students visa to Pakistani applicants

Monitoring Desk: The office of Pakistan High Commission in Ottawa has indicated that strict security checks in Canadian system are denying visas to Pakistanis students who wish to get higher education from Canadian universities.

It is pertinent to mention that in order to study in Canada, students will need to obtain a Canadian study permit, which serves as a Canadian student visa for the duration of stay. For full-time students registered at an accredited higher education institution, a study permit also allows student to work part-time on campus.

The spokesperson of Pakistan High Commission in Ottawa Nadeem Kiani while responding to a query of journalist Andy Blatchford pointed out that student visa applications from Pakistan had 32 percent success rate (got visas) in year 2015 comparing to 68 percent success rate for Indian students.

Nadeem Kiani urged federal government officials to address very high visa rejection rate for the Asian country’s students particularly a trend of saying no (rejection of visa) to Pakistani students.

Kiani stated that Canadian universities are (were) popular among Pakistani students, but due to visa difficulties increasing numbers of students is (was) turning towards other countries.

“Consequently, Canadian universities are losing both high-quality students and revenue,” said Kiani while responding to query of writer of article titled “Canada wants more international students — but getting a visa isn’t easy for some” published Global News Canada.

Meanwhile, responding to newspaper, Canadian Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the approval rate for visas for Pakistani nationals has gone up under the Liberal government.

He indicated that Canadian government would soon announce an expansion to a program — known as the student direct stream — to include applicants from Pakistan. The program, which already covers applicants from China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam, is designed to speed up the processing of student visas.

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“You can’t compare one country to another,” Hussen said in an interview. “Each country has its own country conditions, economic circumstances, people have different travel history.”

The application decisions are made by visa officers. Therefore, a key to helping more students receive permits, Hussen said, is connecting the schools directly to visa offices and embassies to explain the government’s criteria.

It’s also important for applicants to demonstrate they can support themselves financially while in Canada, he said.