I want back my money - Unemployed man livid after failing to get visa through company
As if eight years of unemployment after graduating from University of Technology isn't hard enough, 29-year-old Nickell Rowe was left disappointed after he lost the last US$2,000 (approximately J$256,446) in his name as he sought to get a Canadian visa and subsequently Canadian citizenship.
Rowe is accusing a consultancy company Canadian Connection Immigration of unfairly collecting US$2,000 in fees from him.
"They knew I wouldn't get the visa because I wasn't qualified, and I said that to them and they forced me to go ahead because they wanted the money," an irritable Rowe told THE STAR.
However, a representative from the company said that is furthest from the truth.
"We tell all our clients that it is not guaranteed and that is not something that we do," the representative, who works from the company's Toronto offices, said when asked if they promise to get Canadian citizenship for their clients.
The Canadian Connection Immigration representative refused to speak specifically to Rowe's case, stating that it was against the company's policies.
But according Rowe, when he heard, in March of this year, that Canadian Connection Immigration could get him a visa to study in the North American country for year, he jumped at the opportunity because of the scarcity of jobs here in Jamaica.
"I have a child and I haven't really worked, apart from helping out with my parents' business, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for me," Rowe said.
He said he was told that the company would provide the easiest path to Canadian citizenship.
"They basically say that after I finish the year of studying, I would be automatically given a year to work. After which I could apply for my permanent residency and then my citizenship," Rowe explained.
Under Canadian immigration rules, Rowe would have to prove that he could finance his education.
"They were telling me that I should put the money in a new account and I was thinking that it wasn't going to work because they would know," Rowe recounted.
Though sceptical, Rowe said he persuaded his father to transfer money from his business to an account in his name. He then tasked the company to make an application for him to study a short hospitality course at a university in Toronto and to secure the student visa he needed to travel to Canada.
"They refused me the visa saying that I am not financially stable. The same thing that I suspected," Rowe explained. "I think they knew I wouldn't get the visa, but because they wanted the money, they forced me to go through with it," Rowe said.
However, the representative from Canadian Connection Immigration insists that clients pay for "work rendered on file and not for outcome."
The representative said that she is aware that some firms seeks to exploit desperate clients, but stressed that "it is not something we participate in." She also said that persons who are denied visa have the opportunity to appeal.