Migrant Workers Alliance For Change Reiterates Calls For Regularization And Permanent Resident Status Following New Immigration Criteria

Media Contact: Sarom Rho, 416-887-8315, sarom@migrantworkersalliance.org

Migrant Workers Alliance For Change Reiterates Calls For Regularization And Permanent Resident Status Following New Immigration Criteria

Categories of “high-need” industries highlight the urgent need for permanent residency in low-wage sectors occupied by migrants, including undocumented workers.

Toronto, May 31, 2023 — Canada’s first-ever launch of category-based immigration selection today highlights the ongoing exclusion of migrants and undocumented people from permanent residency. Many of the occupations announced today as priorities for permanent resident status are currently filled by temporary foreign workers, international students, recent graduates, and undocumented workers. But most of them will be unable to apply due to parallel rules. Undocumented people are excluded based on their lack of immigration status; while other migrants are excluded because of language tests that do not correspond to their ability to communicate, excessively high educational accreditation requirements, and being labeled as low-skilled by employers despite performing highly skilled work. Additionally, aging migrants are subjected to punitive measures through point reductions.

The newly selected occupations for priority consideration include nurse aides, orderlies, patient service associates, as well as other low-wage health providers, contractors, supervisors, construction trades, installers, repairers, servicers, truck drivers, and agricultural workers.

“Migrants in low-wage sectors, including undocumented people, are essential to our communities and deserve the rights and protections that permanent resident status provides, irrespective of their employment status. However, this latest attempt to connect workers to jobs highlights the overwhelming evidence that jobs that need to be filled are being done by racialized working class migrants, and they are being excluded from equal rights only possible through permanent residency. We call upon Prime Minister Trudeau to acknowledge the facts, fulfill his promise, regularize undocumented individuals, and ensure permanent resident status for migrant students and workers.”
– Sarom Rho, Organizer, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.


Migrant Workers Alliance for Change

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change is a migrant-led, membership based organization of farmworkers, fishery workers, careworkers, undocumented people and current and former international students uniting for immigration and labour justice. 


Petition: Stop Deportations of International Students, Ensure Status for All

Our names are Ramanjot, Karamjit, Lovepreet, Dimple and Harpreet. We are some of the former international students who are facing deportation after being scammed by education recruiters, such as Brijesh Mishra. There’s not a lot of time left. Please support our fight for justice by sending a message to Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser. Read our stories and sign the petition below.

Update on International Students Fight Against Deportation

Read here, and check regularly for updates: https://migrantworkersalliance.org/deportationupdate/

After an incredible 18 day permanent protest by Punjabi students in Toronto outside of immigration enforcement headquarters, on Wednesday June 14, 2023, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser held a media event and released a statement. Read more here about what was announced and what concerns remain.

Permanent protest ends after 18 days of incredible struggle!

Since Sunday May 28, students facing deportation have been holding down a 24/7 protest in front of immigration enforcement headquarters in Mississauga (Greater Toronto Area). Hundreds from the community have been uniting and rallying for justice. Every night, there’s a community gathering at 7pm – with food, speeches, performances – but you can drop by any time. Join the fight for justice!

6900 Airport Road, closest to entrance 93

Follow the students at Stand for Student & Naujawan Support Network to see more!

June 8: Urgent Action at Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino’s Office!

Thursday June 8
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino’s office
511 Lawrence Ave W
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/NsEumZsKVtUFu2MS6

Join a rally to stop the deportation of international students and call for permanent resident status for all. More than a 100 international students are facing deportation after being tricked by education recruiters. Most of these students have spent more than half a decade in this country, have completed studies, work and live here. Time is running out, Lovepreet Singh’s deportation is in less than a week.

Let’s stand for justice together.

If you’ve questions, contact:
* Sarom: sarom@migrantworkersalliance.org, 416-887-8315
* Gurjeet: 647-575-9607
* Bikram: 647-612-5161

Our stories

Read more about our struggles and stories here:

Karamjeet Kaur

My name is Karamjeet Kaur, and I am facing deportation on May 29th, 2023. Why? I am being punished because my immigration agent tricked me and submitted a fake school admission letter back in 2018 when he applied for my permit. I have been living in Canada for the past five years, I did everything for this country and it is my home now. I did my study in Edmonton College Norquest and got the post graduate work permit. For the past four years, I am working at as a full-time supervisor at a warehouse.

I applied for my permanent residency, but to my shock, I got called in for an interview with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). They told me about that fake offer letter, which I had no idea about before. I never thought that this could happen. I did everything according to the rules, and even got my post-graduate work permit. But Canada still wants to deport me and hundreds of other students.

I have very less time left. CBSA issued me a deportation plane ticket for May 29. But I am still taking action to get justice, so that I can stay in Canada. I applied for a Humanitarian and Compassionate application, and I am asking to get a stay on my deportation until I get the decision on my application, which is in process. I am requesting Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to look into this and do the right thing to ensure justice for me and the other students who are victims of this fraud. Please support us by signing the petition and sharing with everybody you know.

Assembly: Update on Regularization Campaign and What Comes Next!

Join us online on Thursday, April 27 at 8pm (Toronto time) for an open and anonymous meeting for undocumented migrants and supporters across the country. We will provide an update on regularization, answer all your questions, and share what needs to be done for us to win!

REGISTER RIGHT NOW to get the Zoom link or come back to this registration page on April 27th and join in. Simultaneous interpretation will be available in Spanish and English.

Emergency Rally & Petition Delivery: No STCA! Status for All!

Join us in grief and rage.

Click to sign this petition so we can make sure this devastating policy does not go unnoticed, and shine a spotlight on the need for fundamental change including permanent resident status for all.

If you can’t attend at 12pm, there is also a vigil at the same location at 4:30pm organized by the Toronto Refugee Rights Day organizing committee.

Refugees and other migrants were already dying crossing via Roxham Road because the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) and other immigration laws made it impossible to travel safely. Now, with STCA expanded, both the US and Canada have legislated a policy of turning away migrants. Any refugee crossing over will be able to be deported without due process within the first 14 days of arrival. This will force refugees to take even more dangerous routes and cause even more suffering and death. Prime Minister Trudeau says Canada welcomes migrants, even as he is slamming the door shut and putting migrants in danger.

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

Get updates & take action! 2023 PGWP Renewal and Fix Express Entry

In 2021, 2022 and again in 2023, our collective organizing resulted in the federal government allowing Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) holders to extend our permits. Yet again, it is not clear who will be able to apply for the 2023 renewal. At the same time, these are temporary one-time measures, and many of us are in crisis because we cannot get our permanent resident status. Express Entry draws are inconsistent and points needed for Canadian Experience Class are too high. We deserve permanent solutions.

Enter your information below to get updates on the PGWP program as it is announced, and to send a letter to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser asking him to fix Express Entry.

Open Letter from Migrant Students

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, we are calling on you to ensure permanent resident status for migrant student workers like me. Many of us have expired or expiring permits for reasons beyond our control. We live here, we work here, we have formed homes and communities here, and we deserve to stay.

Too many have been left out from the 2022 post graduate work permit (PGWP) extension policy, even though we faced some of the worst moments of the pandemic, including the highest unemployment rate in Canadian history. We call on you to enact immediate solutions such as:
* Make the Post Graduate Work Permit permanently renewable;
* Ensure Canadian Experience Class (CEC) specific draws to address the aftermath of the 9 month suspension of draws;
* Fix Express Entry by valuing work in all NOC/TEER levels, including TEER 4 and 5, ensuring fair CRS calculations and predictable, transparent draws;
* No exclusions: PR status for all regardless of age, immigration status, work, language and education requirements.

We deserve equal rights and dignity, and that means permanent resident status for all of us.

Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.

March 19 Status for All Rally and March – Toronto

On March 18 and 19, current and former international students are organizing and joining actions for permanent resident Status for All and fairness. There are actions in 7 cities across the country, sign up below and join the one in Toronto!

Sunday, March 19
Christie Pits Park
See map here: https://goo.gl/maps/ztX4XJv9crWPiJQh7

Can’t make it on Sunday?

Sign the petition and send a message to PM Trudeau for Status for All and fairness: MigrantWorkersAlliance.org/MSUFairness

Migrant Student Workers (current, graduated and undocumented international students) are now the largest group of temporary migrants in the country. We are uniting as migrants for our rights, for justice and dignity. Let’s unite to #MakeItFair!


  • Fix Express Entry: Fair CRS calculations, predictable draws, no one left out
  • Value all work in immigration selection: In any NOC/TEER, work done on the study permit, in co-op
  • No exclusions: PR status for all regardless of age, immigration status, work, language and education requirements


  • Permanently end the 20 hour work rule for study permit holders
  • Make PGWP renewable, and include private college students
  • Allow co-op work authorization without extra permits 
  • Permit protections for vulnerable and destitute migrant student workers
  • No industry of work restrictions


  • Fair tuition: No differential treatment, caps on tuition increases, stop the fees 
  • Ensure access to employment and decent work; end wage theft and labour exploitation. 
  • Ensure full access to all services including healthcare, housing, jobs, scholarships, and in-school support
  • Ensure family unity

March 12 Art Party: Make Signs & Banners for Status for All Rally!

Join other migrants and allies to paint banners, make signs and art for the March 19 Status For All rally and march in Toronto.

Sunday March 12
2-5pm, drop in

720 Spadina Ave, suite 202
Toronto, M5S 2T9
See map here: https://goo.gl/maps/9pY2ZFbs62qcZboh8

Register now and together let’s make our message clear: Unite Against Racism, Refugees Welcome, Status for All!

Sunday March 12
2-5pm, drop in
720 Spadina Ave, suite 202
Toronto, M5S 2T9

See map here: https://goo.gl/maps/9pY2ZFbs62qcZboh8

Migrant Children Sketchbook of Drawings for #StatusForAll

We have created a sketchbook of evocative drawings by over 100 children of migrants separated from their families for decades, and from those fearing family separation because of possible deportations. We urge you to look carefully at the drawings. Share it with your family, friends and colleagues. Imagine the love that went into each drawing. Imagine the birthdays, the funerals, the anniversaries missed. Imagine the immense change that you can help create when you support regularization for all undocumented people and permanent resident status for all migrants. A fair society is only possible with equal rights; and equal rights are only possible if everyone has the same immigration status. Add your name to our petition at www.StatusForAll.ca

Read the press release from the pop-up art exhibition launch

What do we need to do to win regularization? Meeting for Undocumented Migrants & Supporters

Join us online on Wednesday, March 1 at 7pm (Toronto time) for an open and anonymous meeting for undocumented migrants and supporters from across the country. We will provide an update on the campaign for regularization, answer all your questions, and share what needs to be done for us to win.

REGISTER RIGHT NOW to get the Zoom link or come back to this registration page on March 1st and join in. Simultaneous interpretation will be available in Spanish and English.