Ottawa is refunding fees to 23 former international students who challenged the government over their rights to Post-Graduation Work Permits. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will refund a total of $4,945 in application fees to students whose Work Permits, Temporary Resident Permits and restoration of status were refused before September 2016.
The refunds stem from a 2015 Federal Court ruling that the government did not properly evaluate online courses when it refused to issue a Post-Graduation Work Permit to a Niagara College student. The case, Appidy v. Canada, prompted action by many students who were also denied Post-Graduation Work Permits for similar reasons.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has since clarified the policy. Students who take more than 50 percent of their courses online are not eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. However, the government has offered Open Work Permits to students who were denied Post-Graduation Work Permits between September 1, 2014, and March 15, 2016 for that specific reason. The 23 students receiving refunds are students whose applications were rejected before the government offered Open Work Permits to the affected students.