These Are Uncertain Times For Temporary Foreign Workers: At Least One Good News For Indian Worker

April 2, 2015 News
Baliram Bhatt, who has worked in this province for the past four years, received some good news Wednesday. He has been accepted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program, paving the way for permanent resident status. (CBC)

Baliram Bhatt, who has worked in this province for the past four years, received some good news Wednesday. He has been accepted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program, paving the way for permanent resident status. (CBC)

These are uncertain times for the hundreds of temporary foreign workers in Newfoundland and Labrador, but in at least one case, there was some good news this week.

Baliram Bhatt is a tandoori chef at an Indian restaurant, and until late Tuesday, was fully expecting to have to leave this province.

But a welcome phone call Tuesday night help put his mind at ease.

He had been accepted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program, a system that helps pave the way for permanent resident status.

“Good news for me, good news for everybody,” Bhatt said.

Forced to leave

With a shortage of available labour for many jobs, especially those in the service industry, many businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador have come to rely on temporary foreign workers.

But a change in the rules in 2011 by the federal government left many worrying about their long-term prospects.

Workers in low-skilled jobs were given the option to apply to become permanent residents, or leave the country after their permits expire.

The big day arrived on Wednesday, April 1, when the permits for thousands of foreign workers across Canada expired, with many facing the prospect they will be forced to leave the country.

It’s unclear exactly how many workers in this province will be impacted, but it only takes a visit to a restaurant, hotel or coffee shop in many larger communities to see how important foreign workers have become.

Many employers have complained that despite repeated attempts, they have been unable to recruit local workers, suggesting that a sudden departure of foreign workers could have a dramatic impact on some businesses.

Some business owners have stated that without foreign workers, they would be forced to close, or significantly reduce service.

“You’re going to see long lineups, some places having to cut back on services, because they’re not able to fill it with the Canadians,” said Yvonne Myers, an immigration consultant with Work Global Canada, which is helping foreign workers complete the necessary paperwork that could allow them to make new lives in this province.

Jame Parilla, who came to Canada as a temporary foreign worker and now helps recruit others, said a lot of his friends are now out of work because their permits have expired.

“I’ve got a lot of friends from Alberta going away because of their four year caps,” said Parilla.

But the story is not entirely grim.

People like Bhatt are benefiting from the efforts of the nominee program.

“Now good news I bring my family, my daughter also my son, I’m happy, everybody happy now,” he said Wednesday.

“I like Newfoundland and I stay here. I want to do this.”

Source: cbc.ca