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'We are stuck in a sinking boat': St. Clair students denied work permits
About 25 international students who have graduated from St. Clair College have been denied work permits.
One of the students, Arjun Verma, says their dream of living and working in Canada is becoming a nightmare.
The students graduated in May from a 12-month international Business Management Program, where they also took a four-month freight forwarding logistics course.
They say the college told them they would still qualify for work permits if they wait to apply until after graduating the logistics program. However, the department of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has denied the permits.
The students claim they were told they missed the 90-day deadline.
“It's just been heartbreaking and a disappointment," says Verma, who admits the work permit is what enticed him to come to Windsor to study. “It's like we are stuck in a sinking boat and we cannot see any shoreline."
Now the students Social Insurance Numbers have expired and they cannot work.
Another student in the same position, Dip Sarvaiya, says other students who completed the same programs did receive their work permits.
“Other classmates have got approval on the same document, on the same set of circumstances, we have studied everything the same,” claims Sarvaiya. “They got approval and we have got rejection."
St. Clair registrar Mike Silvaggi tells CTV Windsor they are working with the graduates to help them.
“They're part of the college family. We're trying to do everything we can."
Immigration lawyer Eddie Kadri says these permits should be issued to the students immediately.
Kadri notes these students have already spent thousands on tuition and living costs, and need to work.
“Let's get these students the work permits they were entitled too and then we can visit all these issues and determine going forward how to fix these problems so it never happens again."
St. Clair College has enjoyed an increase in enrolment, thanks in part to an influx of international students. There are now more than 4,000 international students at the school.
The IRCC has not returned calls from CTV Windsor to comment on the issue.