Canada University Refused To Refund Nigerian Student’s $9k Fees After Being Denied Student Visa

Precious Christianah Ademokun thought she would be in Canada and part way through a college programming program by now.

Instead, after months waiting in Nigeria for her study permit application to be processed, she was denied a student visa — and was out $9,000 after the Toronto college she applied to wouldn’t refund her.

Now, after CBC Toronto shared Ademokun’s story, she said in an email that George Brown College has promised to refund the entire amount as soon as possible. 

“I am very grateful,” Ademokun told CBC Toronto. “I was really sad when it happened.”

The school wouldn’t share specifics, but told CBC Toronto, “based on a review of the specific circumstances of this case, we have come to a resolution that has met with the full agreement of the student.”

Ademokun, 19, received her admission into a program at George Brown College in April and applied for a student visa on July 4, says she was told the visa application process could take six to eight weeks.

Still, she had to make the college’s fee deadlines while she waited for a decision from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Ademokun was required to pay a minimum of $8,867 for first semester fees out of the total $16,872 for the both semesters.

On Sept. 19, with no decision on her visa by the IRCC, she missed the school’s refund deadline.

It wasn’t until Oct. 6 that Ademokun received a decision from the IRCC. Her study permit had been denied. Despite that, George Brown College told Ademokun it could not refund any of the fees she paid to the school.

Ademokun appealed, but the school denied her request for withdrawal and refund in a letter sent to her on Dec. 15.

‘Trapped’ between college deadlines, visa approval

Ademokun’s situation is one that many international students find themselves in, said Nick Peterson, a support staff member on the Student Association at George Brown College. 

Peterson said he is approached at least twice a month by international students, both in person and by phone, caught between the college’s deadlines and visa approval.

“Students are trapped between the college and their visa forms, and they don’t know where to go next or who to talk to,” Peterson told CBC Toronto.

Peterson said the students often seek assistance from the student union, which usually can’t help.

“Because we don’t have play in college policy and operations, most of the time the answer is no, unfortunately.”

College reviewing internal processes

According to George Brown College, international students who are refused a study permit are eligible for a refund or deferral, if it is requested within their deadline date.

The school’s registrar Janene Christiansen said in a statement to CBC Toronto that it values its international students and understands “it is always a huge disappointment when study permits are denied.”

After being contacted by CBC Toronto, Christiansen said the school was “following up directly” with Ademokun to “find a resolution.”

“Now that new information is coming to light, we are following up directly with the individual to gather more details and find a resolution.”  

Christiansen also said George Brown College’s international withdrawal and refund policy is aligned with other colleges in Ontario and complies with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities directives, as well as IRCC regulations.

However, she says, the school is reviewing its internal processes and policies to “ensure an improved, clear and transparent process for all prospective students.

According to the Government of Canada’s website, study permits for international students currently take up to nine weeks to process


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