When their work permits expired, these former students, many of whom were from India and the Philippines were forced to quit their jobs without any assurance that they would be granted permanent residency.
Some international students claim that the Canadian government uses them as a cheap labour force and then discards them when they are no longer required.
50,000 foreign students were permitted to stay in Canada last year for 18 months after graduating in order to look for work at a time when businesses were in need of staff and the economy was recovering from Covid shutdowns.
In order to “help more graduates fill pressing needs” in important industries and give them the opportunity to gain the work experience necessary for permanent immigration, the government promoted the permit extension.
But a year and half later, some of these permanent-resident hopefuls were left without status to work or remain in the country.
Daniel D’Souza, an accountant and former Seneca College student near Toronto, said in an interview, “I’m basically sitting at home and living off of my savings and not knowing how long I’d have to do that.” “I regret deciding to immigrate to, study in, and live in Canada. Instead of just employing foreign students as cheap labour, Canada ought to value them more.”
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser’s department said it’s considering ways to better support those who want to settle in the country permanently. The government “recognizes the tremendous social, cultural and economic benefits” that foreign students bring, spokesperson Jeffrey MacDonald said in an emailed statement.
Mr. D’Souza’s career has been put on hold, and his future is uncertain, like that of many other 2021 graduates. Many of these former students, who are from India and the Philippines, were forced to quit their jobs when their work permits ran out even though there was no assurance they would be granted permanent residence. Even if their applications are ultimately accepted, they will have to wait months without a job, income, or social or health benefits.
“They took advantage of us when they needed us. But nobody shows up when we need their assistance or support “said Anshdeep Bindra, a former consultant at the Toronto office of Ernst & Young. “We pay taxes and fees but receive nothing in exchange. You are unaware that we were the ones who assisted you in finding a solution to the labour shortage.”