A foreign student endured months of misery because an Canadian immigration error and IRCC expressed its apology for the error.
An overseas student claims that after arriving in Canada, she ran out of money and endured months of misery because an Canadian immigration officer failed to provide her with the proper documentation allowing her to work part-time while attending school in northern Ontario.
On December 17, Shreya Rajput arrived from India to begin her studies at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie. Shreya Rajput heard she could finally apply for a social insurance number last Friday, something she couldn’t do until she obtained the proper studies documentation.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) expressed its apology for the error to CBC News. Rajput, who claimed that the miscalculation had a significant negative impact on her mental health, sees that as scant compensation.
Student Must Rely On Funds To Survive
As soon as Rajput landed at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, issues began to arise. The typical document for overseas students, a study permit, was printed out by an immigration official without the requirement that she be permitted to work 20 hours per week.
When she went to Service Canada in January to apply for a social insurance number, she didn’t realize the error until she was told she wasn’t qualified since her study permit didn’t specify the condition.
She started her studies and began looking into ways to correct the issue using part of her savings. Rajput fixed the problem by following the advice she saw on the IRCC website and sending them a copy of her study permission.
A duplicate copy would not do, and she needed to send the original copy of her study permission, she was informed more than two months later. Rajput international student claimed to have delivered the original paper and received a response in June stating that similar requests are not handled by the IRCC’s operations support center.
“That is the exact time when I got my mental breakdown. I broke down emotionally because I completely ran out of money”, Rajput remarked. She added that the stress became so severe that she even considered suicide.
She got in touch with an old buddy from North Bay, which is 435 miles east of Sault Ste. Marie, and begged to move in with him. After that, she completed a large portion of her academic work online, unless being in Sault Ste. Marie on campus was essential.
“Now he is carrying my expenses. And sometimes my parents do send some things, and some money”, Rajput, who continues to reside in North Bay and intends to re-start his studies in January 2023, stated. She isn’t working in the interim and is dependent on support from her family and friends.
Rajput’s study permission issue was caused by human mistake, according to Isabelle Dubois, a spokesman for the IRCC, in an email to CBC News. A line authorizing her to work on or off campus was absent from the paperwork she was initially handed.
Dubois added that Rajput’s request for a social security number was accepted on August 26, 2022.
Dubois sent the email with the message, “The study permission will be mailed to her”.
The study permit will state “Individuals who are authorized to work on or off campus will have these remarks printed on it, which then permits them to apply for a social insurance number.”
Immigration officials did receive Rajput’s application to modify her study permit, according to Dubois, but it “was deemed inadequate and was returned.”
Consultant Advises Educators To Support Canadian Immigration Students
Curry Immigration Consulting’s Don Curry claimed that the IRCC have to be responsible for international students “is not really about helping individuals out.”
“Even for somebody like me, trying to get help from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is painful to say the least. You know, you send in a request, you get a template form back which doesn’t answer the question that you asked.”
Curry argued that because schools and universities rely on overseas students and their higher tuition costs, it is their responsibility to have personnel available who can assist them with study permits and other immigration-related matters.
Hope schools nationwide and IRCC will support and be responsible for international students in Canadian immigration issues in the near future.