Filipino caregiver can stay in Canada

By GING REYES – A cancer-stricken Filipina caregiver has won her battle to stay in Canada. ABS-CBN North America News Bureau learned Friday that Canadian Immigration authorities have decided to grant the wish of Juana Tejada for permanent residency on humanitarian grounds.

Her lawyer, Rafael Fabregas said, “Juana is very happy, she’s in very high spirits because of this news. She’s a fighter and after this, she believes she can beat this disease.”

The 38-year-old Tejada, a native of Abra, arrived in Alberta in 2003 to work as a nanny. Under Canada’s Live-In Caregiver program, she applied for permanent residency status in 2006. But while undergoing a medical examination for her immigation application, Tejada learned she had stage four colon cancer.

Adding to her misfortune, Canada’s Immigration office denied her application for permanent residency because she would be a burden to the government.

The letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) said: “While I am sympathetic to your situation, I am not satisfied that these circumstances justify granting an exemption. In the opinion of a medical officer, this health condition might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health and social services.”

As she began treatment, Tejada also began to worry for her family. Her dream, she said was to bring her family to Canada.

Tejada told reporters last June, “Plano ko maka umpisa dito, sponsor my husband at makuha ko ang parents ko para maalagaan ko sila sa kanilang pagtanda and to help sa mga kapatid ko and their families. Gusto ko silang tulungan.”

Tejada’s work visa was originally scheduled to expire in August 2008. It was extended up to December, while she appealed her case, with the help of Atty. Rafael Fabregas.

Tejada’s case sparked outrage among workers’ organizations and the Filipino community in Canada. The workers’ groups, led by theThe United Steel Workers of America, Migrante-Ontario, and the Independent Workers Association called on the Canadian government for compassion.

The community also set up a trust fund to pay for Tejada’s medical bills.

Atty. Fabregas knew that public support would help their cause.

In an interview in June, he said, “They’re bound by the law. The law says that anyone who can pose an excessive demand on Canada’s medical services is inadmissible to Canada. But the law also states that the Minister can grant exemptions based on humanitarian reasons.”

Following the public outcry, Citizenship and Immigration Canada offered to pay part of Tejada’s medical bills.

Then on the afternoon of July 17, the office of Atty. Fabregas received a letter from CIC stating that, “It has been determined that you meet the eligibility requirements to apply for permanent resident status as a member of the Live-in Caregiver class.”

Atty. Fabregas explained there are still minor administrative requirements that Tejada and her husband Noli need to fulfill, including passing a medical exam, clearing police and security checks, but he added that, “I don’t see any more impediment to her being granted permanent resident status.”

The CIC letter further said, “a final decision will be made when all statutory requirements have been met along with those of your dependents.”

Atty. Fabregas said this is but a small victory. The issue, he explained, “is not just a Filipino issue, it’s a Canadian issue. It’s about how Canada treats its foreign workers.”

Fabregas said he’s determined to continue pursuing changes in Canada’s caregiver program so there would not be another Juana Tejada.

Find more like this: OFW

Comments

  1. […] Original post by the Pinoy – Philippines News and Information […]

  2. teodora says:

    Good Day,
    Iam looking for a caregiver job abroad specially in alberta canada. I had my trainings and certificate including OJT and experience.Im from philippines…

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