Incoming international students heading to the region's universities and colleges are facing delays getting their visas processed in time for September.

A strike by Canada foreign service workers means some students may start their year late, and other students may not be able to study here at all.

Tom Buckley, the assistant vice president for academic services at Wilfrid Laurier University, says the process has been speeding up, despite the labour protest.

"It's still of couple of weeks until classes start. We anticipate that the vast majority of our new international students will be able to secure their visa and arrive here as planned," he said.

But Buckley says not all student visas will be ready in time for the start of semester.

Alan Vaughan, the vide president of enrolment management and international education at Conestoga College, estimates around 200 incoming students still don't have visas.

"Many of them, it's been their dream to come to Canada for years. And they've worked hard to come here, and they've done their research, they've applied," said Vaughan. 

"It's the final step in their adventure and they're being disappointed by not getting their visa in time to start school."

Vaughan says that these delays may cause students to consider accepting schools in other countries this year.

The University of Waterloo told CBC News the school is not aware of any international students who have issues with their visas.