Migrant Student Workers Win Third Extension of Work Permits; But Partial Changes Not Enough and Permanent Resident Status Still Needed

Toronto, March 17, 2023 – Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced this morning that migrant student workers whose permits expired in 2023 and those who were eligible for the 2022 work permit extensions will be able to renew their permits on April 6th. Not all eligibility requirements have been released; the previous two announcements requirements were added closer to the date. 

 “After over a year of organizing, migrant student workers have won a third extension to the post-graduate work permit program, allowing some graduated students to heave a sigh of relief. But instead of putting people in crisis and fear for months and making last minute changes, we again call for permanently renewable post-graduate work permits. In any case, keeping people on temporary work authorizations with few rights is never the solution; most migrant student workers, including those in low-wage jobs are disqualified from permanent residency despite being essential to our communities. We reiterate the call for full and permanent immigration status for all.” – Sarom Rho, Migrant Students United Coordinator, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change. 

“The announcement today is a win for sure. I have joined dozens of rallies with other migrant student workers like me and collected thousands of petition signatures in the past three years to call for a permanently renewable post graduate work permit and full immigration status for all. In my case, I’m racing against the clock because the more that time passes, the more I lose points for age and expiring work experience. We deserve more than an extension of time, we need permanent solutions so that we’re not left wondering if we’ll make it to the end.” – Maria Alfaro, a former international student from El Salvador and graduate of St. Clair College and Cambrian College whose post graduate work permit is expiring soon. 

Migrant student workers will be joining actions in Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Sudbury, Victoria and Niagara Falls on March 18 and 19 to call on Prime Minister Trudeau to ensure full and permanent immigration status for all: https://migrantrights.ca/m19advisory/ 

Media Contact: Sarom Rho, 416-887-8315, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change