Workshop assists foreign workers

More than 330,000 workers live and work in Canada as part of the federal temporary foreign worker program

BERNIE RAMIS

Special to The Morning Star

Currently, more than 330,000 workers live and work in Canada as part of the federal temporary foreign worker program (TFWP).

Through the TFWP, Canadian employers are allowed to hire foreign nationals to fill positions that qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents are either unable or unwilling to fill.

The live-in caregiver program (LCP) specifically addresses the shortage of domestic workers in Canada.

The federal government introduced this program to enable private households to hire care-givers from other countries. While most temporary foreign workers will be hired to address a specific, short-term labour or skill shortage, temporary foreign workers aim to transition to permanent residence, which confers most of the benefits of Canadian citizenship.

Although the concept of immigrating to Canada via these programs is quite straightforward, the immigration process required to become a permanent resident can be quite complicated.

This complexity and other circumstances have contributed to the low rate of temporary foreign workers who have transitioned to permanent residency. Of the 192,000 temporary foreign workers who entered Canada in 2011 only 29,000 have transitioned to permanent resident status.

To help with the education of temporary foreign workers in obtaining their permanent resident status, the Vernon and District Immigrant Services Society is sponsoring a free workshop entitled Immigration Law for Live-In Caregivers and Temporary Foreign Workers.

The workshop will be facilitated by labour lawyer Ai Li Lim, executive director of West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association, a Vancouver-based advocacy group. In this workshop attendees will learn about the hows of work permit and PR applications, understand common immigration problems and inadmissibilities, and receive an overview of recent changes to the TFWP and LCP.

The workshop will be held Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the VDISS office at 100-3003 30th St.

One-on-one consultations with Lim will be available by appointment only.

To register and to book an appointment, contact Maylene at 250-542-4177 or e-mail vdiss@shaw.ca.