Filipino Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has attempted to calm the fears of the thousands of Filipino temporary foreign workers (TFWs) employed in Canada by stating they will not face mass repatriation at the end of their four-year stay there.
“There is no such thing as ‘mass deportation’ contrary to some news reports about it,” the secretary said in a press release.
Baldoz said several workers will be exempt from the deadline, with many granted a reprieve by Canada in order to be able to gain permanent residency.
Introduced on 1st April 2011, the temporary foreign worker program allows low-skilled foreign workers to work in Canada for a period of up to four years, after which they would have to leave the country. However Baldoz said these rules wouldn’t apply to all TFWs.
According to Baldoz, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is set to exempt certain categories of workers from the four year cumulative duration regulation. Some of the categories include TFWs in managerial or professional occupations, TFWs who have applied for permanent residence and have received a CSQ (Certificat de selection du Quebec) or a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) certificate, and TFWs exempt from the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) process.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada also provides a one-year bridging work permit to qualifying temporary foreign workers facing the four-year cumulative duration limit, Baldoz said.
Additionally, any periods of more than one month spent overseas, or any authorised work breaks, such as parental leave or unpaid leave, would not be included in the cumulative four-year limit imposed on TFWs.
Emphasising that several options are available to TFWs to extend their stay in Canada, Filipino Labor Attaché Leonida Romulo said that CIC has implemented these measures to “assist people who are in most cases going to get their permanent residency anyway” by allowing them “to stay in Canada until that decision is made.”