An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) is finding herself in a very difficult situation, unable to return to Canada after accompanying her employer on a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The OFW banned from Canada is stuck in Mexico because she isn’t a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident.
AFTER GOING ON VACATION WITH EMPLOYER, OFW BANNED FROM CANADA
Mary Anne de Ramos is a caregiver working under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
When Canada closed off its borders to everyone who wasn’t a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, OFWs like de Ramos were banned from entry.
Included in the ban are international students and other foreign workers.
De Ramos was on a trip with her Canadian employer Deborah Lucas, whose two young children de Ramos is responsible for.
De Ramos, who flew to Mexico using her Philippine passport, accompanied Lucas’ family on March 1, 2020.
She was scheduled to return to Canada with Lucas and her family on March 26, 2020.
OFW BANNED FROM CANADA, RESTRICTIONS INCLUDE OTHER FOREIGN WORKERS AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
When the Government of Canada announced that they were closing down their borders, Lucas called the Canadian embassy in Mexico, only to find out that because De Ramos was not a Canadian citizen nor a Permanent Resident, she would have to fly through the US to get back to Canada.
This wan’t possible because she didn’t have a US Visa.
De Ramos spoke to the Toronto Star, saying that she understands “the need for quick and decisive action. However, please consider the people who have already left their families to begin a better life in your country and are on the path to becoming Canadians.”
De Ramos continued, telling the Toronto Star that her everything she knows is in Canada. “I know this is the case for many temporary residents like me. In these unique circumstances, please don;t turn away people who pay taxes and work hard to build the multicultural Canadian community we all are proud of.”
Lucas helped de Ramos to get in touch with the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa. She found out that she also can’t go back home to the Philippines, because of the current lockdown in place, she needs to leave from Canada to be allowed entry.
De Ramos has no choice but to stay in Mexico until the Government of Canada lifts its entry ban on foreign nationals.
“I am really worried that I can’t go back to Canada,” de Ramos told the Toronto Star.
NOT ALL OFWS CAN APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY
Not all foreign workers in Canada have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency. Most foreign workers must return home before their work permits expire, while some (including de Ramos) are given a pathway to apply for permanent residency.
The Government of Canada issued 2.4 million temporary residence permits, which includes work permits for foreign workers and study permits for international students.