VIDEO: International Students Left In Limbo After Work Permits Denied

About 25 international students who have graduated from St. Clair College in Windsor have been denied work permits.

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, but the Department of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada has denied the permits.

Now the students Social Insurance Numbers have expired and they cannot work.

Student Arjun Verma tells CTV Windsor 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. Our SIN numbers have expired. So we cannot work."

Another student in the same position, Dip Sarvaiya, says other students who completed the same programs did receive their work permits.

It's really frustrating. Everybody is really upset and everybody is broken. Other classmates have gotten 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."

Immigration lawyer Eddie Kadri says the students have already spent thousands on tuition and living costs, and need to work.

"They're not eating. They're not sleeping. Their whole life has been turned upside down. Let's make things right. Let's get these students the work permits that they were entitled too and then we can visit all these issues and determine, going forward, how to fix this problem so it never happens again.," says Kadri.

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.