by Marjorie Carmona Newman
EDMONTON, ALBERTA — A group of Pinoy international students in Edmonton has filed a lawsuit against a private college and an immigration consultant.
These kababayans entered Canada on a work permit, but because of the four-year rule which limits the amount of time foreigners can work in Canada, they were forced to change their status to students in order to stay.
They claim they were misled by the school.
They say they paid thousands of dollars in tuition to Soloman College, plus another thousand to their third-party immigration representative. But after completing the program, they discovered they are not eligible for postgraduate open work permits.
“Its a class action in Alberta,” said Atty. Avnish Nanda. “It’s a very serious case; there’s special procedures and we are at the early procedural steps. The biggest thing is to just get back the money they put into the schools, money taken from them. They can figure other ways to remain in Canada.”
As per the amended statement of claim filed in Edmonton court of Queen’s Bench, students alleged Solomon College and immigration consultant Amarjot Singh made false representations about their eligibility for a federal post-graduate work permit and failed to exercise reasonable care to ensure these representations were accurate.
Edmonton lawyer Nanda said that the immigration consultant is currently under investigation by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council or iccrc, the body that regulates immigration consultants in Canada.
“Mahirap po everyday iniisip mo kong anong mangyayari sa susunod na buwan esp that our permits will lapse in the next three to four months. Good thing about it doon po sa mga ginagawa namin paglapit namin sa government officials we are getting support from them,” said Joel Labongray.
BA reached out to Solomon College and the immigration consultant but did not receive a reply.