The Canadian government has decided to expand the Student Direct Stream (SDS) to Pakistani students. The Canadian government had initiated the programme for students from India, China, Philippines and Vietnam last year, and in a press release issued on Friday announced that it now available to study permit applicants who are living in Pakistan. Through this programme, Pakistani students wishing to obtain a study visa will have better chances of getting the visa and will receive it in three weeks. The previous study visa process for Pakistani students had them waiting for up to three months for a decision, leaving them for months in uncertainty and in some cases exceeding the semester starting date of their universities.

The successful resolution of the Canadian student visa should turn the government’s attention to the current crises that is going on in the German embassy in Islamabad: scores of Pakistani students admitted into German universities are having to wait for months to get visa appointments. Late visa appointment dates might lead to the cancelation of their admission in the university, with many students getting visa appointment dates months after their semester starts.

For a Pakistani student wanting to go abroad for their further studies, gaining an admission into a university is not the difficult part. The process of securing a student visa makes way for a hundred hurdles and pit stops for a Pakistani applicant, which their fellow students of other nationalities are not subject to. Due to the increase in terrorist attacks that Pakistan experienced in the last two decades, or perhaps because of the government’s ineffective diplomacy, the visa process, particularly for our students, has been burdensome, strenuous and sometimes downright humiliating. It is hoped that the government maintains its successful diplomatic streak and makes the visa process easier for our bright students who wish to study abroad.