Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


Q. I live in the USA but my daughter lives in the Philippines and is nearly thirty years old. I could not include her on my immigrant application to the USA because she was overage and not considered a dependant. My wife and I figured that the next best thing would be to pay for her schooling as a live in caregiver and to work in Canada. My daughter found a recruiter in the Philippines who allegedly has an office in Canada to find her an employer. We paid several thousand dollars to find the Canadian employer and the application was filed over two years ago.

My daughter was about to get her visa when we were informed that the Canadian employer suddenly withdrew her job offer because the case was taking so long. If we find a new employer can we just switch them or do we have to wait for another two years?

A. I would definitely look deeper into this matter. It is no secret that the Canadian Embassy in Manila is taking very long to process live in caregiver applications. Two years is the average but they are trying to improve the processing times by hiring more staff. Because of the ludicrous amount of time to process these work permits, it has opened the door for unscrupulous consultants and agencies to take advantage of people. Anyone can promise an employer. These recruiters ask for thousands of dollars and “promise jobs” but they know full well that the case will take over two years. Then after the long wait, the recruiter says that the employer got fed up and could not wait any longer so they cancelled the job offer. In reality, the employer had no intention of hiring anybody. It is a very common problem and immigration apparently has no interest in doing anything about these people.

I would definitely try to get your money back. What exactly was your agreement? Was it to obtain the work permit or employer? If so, the recruiter did not provide that service. As well, if you look deeper it may be apparent that the employer never did have the intention to hire. Contact the employer. You have the right to do so. If they do not reply to you that is a red herring and something is fishy.

Q. I am in Canada on a work permit but very lost in this entire immigration system. In fact, while I do have a work permit to legally work I never actually worked for the company that sponsored me. I paid about $5000 to a recruiter in the Philippines who has an office in Canada to help me come and work in Canada. I was promised over $25/hour, accommodation and benefits to work at a company in the construction industry. When I arrived in Canada, the company told me that there was no job available. This is the same story for my other five friends who came with me – two of which have fled to New Jersey. I am working in a factory now for $9/hour. I cannot locate the recruiter and my work permit is about to expire. I am too embarrassed to tell anyone my story. What should I do?

A. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. These recruiters took advantage of you and they are the ones who should be embarrassed. Unfortunately, your story is quite common. The first step that should be done is to obtain professional help (or you can do it yourself) in order to assist you in reporting the recruiter and employer to the proper authorities. In my experience, once the proper evidence is filed, the employer will never be able to sponsor someone again and the recruiter will be banned from recruiting again. Secondly, you have your own immigration dilemma. Your work permit is about to expire so it is imperative for you to obtain a new work permit. Again, obtain professional assistance. If you let your work permit expire you will need to leave the country to renew it.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed Immigration Lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions in confidence to Balita or to Attorney Moyal by fax, mail or email