Despite living in Canada for the past 12 years, Red Deer’s Victoria Forschle says she “has no choice but to leave” the country, after her student visa was revoked because high tuition costs had forced her out of college.
The 21-year-old has lived in Canada since 2008 as a non-permanent resident.
“My difficulty comes with the fact that I am a part-time worker, because as a student, I cannot work full time. However, the cost of education for an international student is almost three times the amount of a Canadian student,” Forschle said in a video posted to YouTube.
“For me, this has always felt unfair, because I did all of my education in Canada and have a high school diploma from Alberta, and yet I’ve been forced to pay international tuition.”
Forschle says she has recently been unable to continue her schooling due to “financial difficulties,” adding her work experience from the past few years is not valid, because she gained that history as a student.
She worked as a part-time residential aide in Red Deer while attending college.
“This means I cannot apply for a work permit or permanent residency, or any other status. So … I find myself struggling to fit into an immigration category like my family has for so many years,” she said.
Forschle says she has “no choice” but to leave friends and family behind, and will now return to her original birthplace of Germany.
“I cannot express the amount of pain I have experienced in the last five days, trying to make these preparations (and) thinking about having to leave my home,” she said.
“My German is entirely inefficient for the workplace. I needed my dad’s help to write my resume, fill out documents, make phone calls, because I don’t have more than Grade 3 education in the German language,” she said.
A GoFundMe page was recently launched to support Forschle. Donations will go toward a plane ticket, moving costs and a start-up fund while she looks for a job and a place to live, according to the page.
More than $3,000 has been raised so far.
Forschle has her eyes set on getting an international nursing degree in Germany and then returning to work in Canada.
“It starts off with me going to school for three years to become a German nurse, and then I would upgrade for two years at a university,” she said.
Forschle’s current visa expires July 21. She is attempting to get a visitor’s visa so she can stay until August, when her friend is getting married.
“At heart, I will always be Canadian,” she said.
“My wish is that no other young adults that have been raised in this country need to face the same struggles that I have faced, and am still continuing to face. It would break my heart if more people than just me would feel rejected by the country that feels like home.”
Forschle says while she wishes the government could change her circumstances, her “expectations for that change to happen have dissipated into a pool of tears and hopelessness.”
To donate to the GoFundMe page, visit www.gofundme.com/f/don039t-break-my-heart-canada.