Status for all: Pathways to permanent residency in Canada need to include every migrant

Migrant rights networks, advocates and allies in Canada are calling for status for all. And this call is not new. It is time to ask why status for all is essential for mitigating social inequalities laid bare by the pandemic.

Status for all means permanent residency for all temporary migrant workers and their families who live in Canada with precarious legal status. Temporary migrant workers include international students, refugee claimants, temporary foreign workers in low-wage occupations and migrants classified as high-skilled in the International Mobility Program. It also includes non-status migrants.

In December 2020, there were over a million temporary migrants in Canada, including international students and low- and high-wage temporary migrant workers. There were also 81,000 or more refugee claimants. But there is no reliable data on how many people live and work in Canada without authorization.

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