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By Loveen Gill and Nandika Ravi
In late 2020, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration in Québec issued a decree suspending the processing of international applications at 10 institutions as a result of questionable international student recruitment practices.
However in January 2021, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the schools, and has asked them to resume the processing of the applications and renewals, stating that the suspension of the application is inconvenient for students who have already made plans to study in Quebec. But many students who’ve applied for their visa during fall of 2020 haven’t received any communication on their visa, while others who applied later have already arrived in Canada.
Despite facing challenges that come with attending classes in different time zones, internet and communication discrepancies, the affected students fear that the time and money they’ve spent in the process might go in vain.
“Its’ been 400 days since we got our results but we are still unsure about the future,” said Preet Mattu, an international student.
“They are not telling us anything. We are the September 2020 intake, and currently they are taking in students from September 2021, but we are suffering,” 
The hashtag #JusticeForQuebecStudents has been showing up on social media as the international students from the September 2020 intake have been asked to continue their studies online instead.
According to immigration lawyer Jagmohan Sangha, the reason behind so much confusion among international students was due to COVID-19 restrictions and the lack of communication from these colleges to the students back in India.
“Visas are a federal matter and colleges operate under provincial jurisdictions,” Sangha said.
“So from the suspensions to reinstatement, there was some work that was being done from the province’s end to make sure everything is legit. That has delayed some of the processes and obviously COVID was another major factor that caused delays too.”
The visa delays have been causing a lot of anxiety among students. Affected student Jaskaran Singh said that nearly 10,000 students from across different parts of India have been affected. Recently, they held rallies in Chandigarh, India.
“One student had come from Ahmedabad to participate in the protest and some were from Mumbai,” Singhsaid.
“They had stayed at the Gurduaras (Sikh temples) as they prepared for the protests. The heads at Canadian consul at Chandigarh had told them that (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) will respond within 2-3 months.”
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told OMNI News they said they needed more time to investigate and comment on the matter.
“IRCC has been working overtime with a lot of problems at their hand,” Sangha said.
“Some of those problems they have called upon themselves, some issues such as the Montréal problem was an addition for them to resolve. Some other local schemes were launched also added to their tasks. IRCC is very student-centric; they just want to make sure everything is legitimate.”