Filipino temporary foreign workers hope to stay longer in Canada
by Marjorie Carmona Newman, ABS-CBN News
EDMONTON — Many Pinoy temporary workers were desperate to stay longer in Canada, after the country implemented the 4-year rule in April 2015, banning temporary foreign workers from staying more than 4 years in the country.
A number of Filipino TFWs shifted status to international students, and paid thousands of dollars in tuition fees from $16,000 to $21,000, plus additional fees to third-party immigration representatives.
They were hoping to be eligible for the post-graduate work permit, which allows student graduates from participating Canadian colleges to gain Canadian work experience they can use to apply for permanent residency.
Jonah Falgui was one of them.
“So I spent $16,000 dollars for my two years studies only to find out that we will not be getting anything. We have to find other ways for us to stay here,” Falgui said.
But many of the private schools in Edmonton where these Pinoy international students completed their programs are not eligible for the post-graduate work permit.
Some of the graduates have applied for the post-grad work permit already, and they were all denied by immigration Canada.
The students are blaming the schools for not being upfront with them, as well as their third party representatives for misleading information.
“Appeal namin sa government para mabigyan po nga consideration yong aming situation dahil lahat po kami dito naka pag stay na sa canada ng more than six or four years,” said Victoria Maravillas. “So parang naka pag establish na ng good background, good character na hindi man po eligible yong school namin pero alam po namin na worthy po na mabigyan kami ng status dito.”
Migrante Alberta adds there is even one school in edmonton where approximately 90 students, most of them Filipinos, are affected.
Hundreds of students in calgary are in similar situations.
“Tinitipon natin sila at inilalapit sa mga politiko sa Alberta, lumapit na rin kami sa federal government para asikasuhin ang kanilang mga papers. Ginagawa ng alberta para sa kanila para magkaroon ng policy changes while we are tyring to help individuals, talaga namang marami malking crisis ang nagyaayari dito sa Edmonton in particular, wala silang uuwian sa pilipinas most likely they will be here to stay either undocumented or not,” said Marco Luciano, from Migrante Alberta.
While Canada has removed the 4-year rule already, the problem continues for these Pinoy workers-turned-international-students.
Time is of the essence for them. Those whose post grad applications were refused were given 90 days to restore their status.
Many of them have now lost their legal status to remain in Canada, while others are graduating soon and will face the same predicament as those who have gone before them.