Iranian urgent request over procedure of student visa for Canada sign now

Mr. Chris Alexander,
The Honorable Minister of Citizenship and Immigration of Canada

This letter has been written by the community of Iranian students who have been admitted by Canadian universities for the fall semester commencing September, 2013. According to the directions specified by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, we applied for study permit via Canadian visa office in Ankara. Unfortunately, many of us have not received our student visa yet. Although the normal application processing time is thirteen weeks (as indicated in the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada), this processing time for some of us far exceeds than even 16 weeks. As you know, annually, lots of Iranian students go to Canada to continue their education. Due to this year's problems and mainly because of the strike action of Canadian embassies, many of Iranian students are still looking forward to hearing from the embassy about the result of their application for study permit. However, this issue has caused lots of problems for them some of the most significant of which are listed below:

1. The travelling plans of Iranian students are suspended. They had to cancel their flight tickets. In addition, some students had registered at their universities before commencing the fall semester. As a result, they missed their classes.

2. The government of Iran specifies a time limit of one year for male students to join the military service after graduation from university. If they get an admission from universities abroad, they must start their education before this deadline. Otherwise, they are obliged to register for the military service. As the Canadian embassy in Ankara works on applications of Iranian students with a relatively slow rate, some of them cannot receive their student visas on time.Thus, they are not allowed to leave Iran for educational reasons, and as a result they lose their opportunity to continue their education.

3. In such a situation, Iranian students have lost the tranquility of their lives. Some of them have resigned from their jobs and have prepared everything to go to Canada, but unfortunately, they have not received their student visa yet. Moreover, they are not able to make any plans for their future since every day they impatiently wait to hear the result of their applications, which follows more than one year of continuous attempts for the admission in Canadian universities. Unfortunately the visa office in Ankara does not even respond to the applicants who have been waiting for more than the normal application processing time.

4. In spite of the fact that a great number of Iranian students have deferred their admissions to the winter semester, they are not sure that their visas will be prepared before beginning the new semester. As commencing the winter semester will encounter Christmas time, providing and cancelling flight tickets will cost a lot. In addition, some of Canadian universities do not allow students to defer their admission more than one time.

The Canadian embassy in Ankara claims that our applications are actually being already sent-out to the outside agencies and hence, they do not control the processing time and they are unable to expedite processing of our files. We hope that you do realize that our current situation is really critical, thus we intend to ask you to deal with the situation of Iranian students and respectfully request to take some appropriate measures to help us to receive our student visas as soon as possible.

We appreciate your kind help in advance.

Best regards,

Iranian students

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