Thousands of employees opt out of upcoming permanent residency scheme: Overseas Rights Network

TORONTO – Thousands of migrant and essential workers will be excluded from the federal government’s forthcoming plan to provide permanent residency to 90,000 workers, according to the migrant rights network, the advocacy group.

“Permanent resident status for all is a matter of life and death. This is the mechanism through which expatriates can protect themselves, and it is essential for a free and equal society, ”Syed Hussan, the Migrant Rights Network Secretariat, said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

Hussein, executive director of the Migrant Workers’ Alliance for Change, said six migrant agricultural workers have died this year, and at least six international students have committed suicide as a result of financial and immigration pressures. And he insisted that everyone needed more security.

Overseas Rights Network Report “Boycott despair, anarchy and exploitation“The federal government is critical Upcoming plan To provide a pathway to permanent residency – on a first-come-first-served basis – for more than 90,000 low-skilled, temporary workers.

But the Migrant Rights Network, one of Canada’s largest migrant-led coalitions, said it is insufficient for an estimated 461,470 eligible migrants.

According to Sameera, who has lived with her mother in Montreal for eight years and shares her story in the report, “During this epidemic, millions of people without any status risked their lives to serve you and keep Canada’s economy running.” Cast in. “

Sameera is ineligible for the program as she is unspecified. Like something in Presser or quoted in the report, his last name was withdrawn for fear of reprisal.

“Why does the government not have a regularization program for all? It is rebelling how all these new laws ignore us – as if we did not exist. We are here and we will continue to struggle. “

Husan echoed this and called for a state of full and permanent immigration for all.

“We don’t need small, unilateral, exclusionary pilot programs, we need an immigration system to an extent so that every resident of the country gets the same immigration status and therefore equal access to labor rights, health care and other essentials. Services. “

But Canadian Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino pushed back.

“The new pathway to permanent residency for essential workers and international graduates is one of the most inclusive and innovative programs initiated by the IRCC,” Press Secretary Alexander Cohen said in an email to “Its size, speed and scope are unprecedented.”

“From brick-kilns to bus drivers to custodians, the range of qualified occupations has never been more inclusive,” he said.

1.2 lakh people not included: Migton Rights Network

The government program was announced last month and is set to launch on Thursday, with 20,000 slots open to temporary workers in health care, 30,000 to temporary workers in other selected essential fields, and international graduates graduating in Canada. 40,000 for students.

Applications will be open until November, as the government says it will be open for change as it will be a rollout.

But based on the sanctions, the Migrant Rights Network report claimed that approximately 1.18 million unspecified residents, refugees, current international students and expatriates in Quebec are not eligible at all.

In Quebec they cannot apply unless they intend to move out of the province – once they have achieved permanent residency status. The reason for this is a government source of the Canada-Quebec Agreement, which spoke on the background. The agreement, signed in 1991, allows Quebec more decision-making power on issues related to immigrants and refugees related to greater levees and issues and weights.

But the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has said that they want to choose the government of Quebec.

Cohen said that for some refugees who are not eligible for the program, there is another.

“Minister Mendicino also recently launched the Guardian Angels program. This ground breaking program was created specifically to offer a pathway for unspecified asylum seekers who have contributed greatly to Canada’s fight against COVID-19 in our hospitals and long-term care homes, “Cohen said.

English test, undated stud big hearts

To put together the Migrant Rights Network report, the group examined 3,000 responses of unspecified workers and migrant workers and found that they were eligible. He stated that he neither has time to study or work to take the exam nor did he have the necessary resources to gather documents for his applications.

The application for the program required passing a language test, but according to the report, about 45 percent of migrant workers and just under half of the respondents who were international graduates said they had not passed or taken the exam.

However, applicants can submit language test results for the last two years. But as required by the language test, a government source who spoke on the background said that it is in place because it is a way to ensure that workers will be able to participate in the wider society after attaining wider residency status.

But Hassan estimates that while this included the total cost, workers can be seen upwards of $ 2,000, when you consult the cost of a language test, potential attorney fees, and immigration experts to make sure That their application is a good opportunity.

He said that this cost is too high, especially for low-paid workers for whom English or French is not their first language.

‘We live here’

One of those likely to be left is Gary, a Mexican migrant worker who has been working in the country since 2013.

“Many of us have taught ourselves English while working in Canada, but cannot write or read it. During the press conference, Gary, a chicken catcher in Ontario, said that I was excluded from the government’s permanent residency program because I could not pass the English test.

“It’s not fair – we’ve built life here, and we’ve missed our lives with our families,” he said.

A spa worker in Toronto, Lisa said she too would be unable to pass an English exam and said her job as a sex worker meant she did not qualify under the rules.

“I am no different from Canada, I contribute a lot to society.” That is why every migrant sex worker and massage parlor employee deserves the status, ”she said.

Gary said that he feels extremely insecure for another reason.

“We cannot stand up for our rights because employers always threaten us that they will not renew our contracts or deport us,” he said, noting what is happening to many others during advocates’ epidemics, While saying this.

Also sharing is Der Abdul, who came to Canada on a student visa in 2015, but when it expired he became an undisputed activist and his status means he is unable to apply.

“It is not too late for the government to fix it. It is not too late for the government to fix this. Abdul said that it does not take time to create a program that suits their situation for everyone.

Meanwhile, students feel that they have not yet graduated or because their school permit is expiring, such as migrant student Idolu, who has been studying in Canada since 2019 and doing the necessary work during the epidemic. is.

“It’s a difficult time and my physical and mental health is badly affected,” said the new Toronto graduate. She is struggling to make ends meet and wants the program to be more inclusive.


One in four current required workers polled said they did not meet the job requirement to work for 12 of the last 36 months. Some stated that they did not qualify because some of their work experience occurred between work or student permits and did not count as per requirement.

Then, another 13 percent of those polled said they did not have a valid work authority. This is in large part because temporary foreign workers who lose their jobs during the epidemic are not legally allowed to work elsewhere due to employer-restricted work permits.

Cherian Snag, a migrant care worker, said she was fired when she became ill during COVID-19 and was under great stress because her home, income, health care and ability to stay in the country were tied to her employer .

“Without permanent residency status, you are pushed around – by the employer and the government. It is discrimination and exploitation.

“I struggled to find a new employer to sponsor me, so I could get the three months of work required to meet the 24-month work requirement under the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and apply for permanent residency Be able to do, ”Snag said.

“Last week, the cap reached that event. Another door has been closed for me and care workers like me. And I can’t qualify for this new program without a job, “Snag said, with her immediate attention getting her a job to fulfill employer-restricted permits.

The report from the Migrant Rights Network noted many unemployed essential workers, who were laid off due to COVID-19 or ran in unsafe working conditions, are now losing their hands to do any work – no difference Payments do not matter – only to qualify for the new program.

And worse still, those who left bad employers say they have been forced to return. It should be noted that those who are abusing or fleeing unsafe working conditions; Or some students will be eligible for this latest program if they apply and successfully obtain an open work permit.

Edited by producer Phil Hain.


Latest articles

Related articles