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Pregnancy, Expiring work permit, sponsorship and..

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    Posted: 15 May 2012 at 4:22pm
I've called Immigration
Service Canada
Human Resources

Here is the situation:

My Common Law Partner and I have found out that we are expecting a baby.  I am a Canadian Citizen, she is a temporary foreign worker.

Her Due date is Dec 7th, her work permit expires Dec 15th.  At the time of her work permit expiry, here Social insurance number also expires.  Up until dec 15, she will qualify for maturity benefits however when her SIN expires she will no longer be entitled.

Her and I are working out the details of me sponsoring her, however this process takes up to 11 months, and does not grant her a valid SIN number.  It seems the only way we can get a valid SIN is to renew her work permit, but her employer has decided not provide her with a contract based on the fact that she will not be able to work due to pregnancy/taking time off to care for our child.

If we are unable to get the maternity benefits then we are in a world of financial trouble.

does anybody have any experience with this, know anyone who does, or have any suggestions?

you're help would be appreciated so much - thank you for taking the time.
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canvis2006 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote canvis2006 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2012 at 10:47pm
I'm not sure if maternity benefits apply to foreign workers (technically your CLP is still a foreign national until PR status is obtained)

It would be better if she gives birth in her birth country and you keep working in Canada and sponsor her outland? The child will be a Canadian due to Canadian father so its not an issue.

With her work permit expiring a week after due date, I am not sure how the hospital will treat her case in case extra health services are needed/necessary. I would not take a chance, get extra health coverage, etc to cover anything.
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computergeek View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote computergeek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2012 at 7:59pm
Your wife's status as a foreign worker does not deprive her of ANY statutory protections with respect to family rights - this is very well established in Canadian case law and HRSDC should have been very well-aware of this fact.  See for the HRSDC pages on this issue.

See also:

In all provinces and territories, there are human rights laws that make it illegal for an employer
to fire, mistreat or refuse to hire any worker because she is pregnant. Workers are protected
regardless of their immigration status.

By refusing to renew her contract on the basis of her pregnancy her employer has violated the law and is subject to a human rights complaint.  Instead, her employer should have allowed her to take maternity leave (17 weeks) around the anticipated birth (e.g., 6 weeks prior to the due date and 11 weeks following, for example.)

Foreign workers do not waive their employment rights simply by virtue of being foreign workers.

You don't mention in which province you are located, so I couldn't go verify how your province would handle it.  Here in BC, at a minimum, your wife would have health coverage through the end of December without any questions.  Of course, your baby, being born in Canada, would also have health coverage (in BC that would be without the waiting period, but I don't know how other provinces deal with it.)

My advice: have your wife apply for maternity leave from her employer.  If they refuse, she has an additional basis for an action.  If they accept, she should obtain appropriate documentation to that effect and that her position will be available when she returns - that should be sufficient to apply for an extension of her work permit (since she is considered employed during maternity leave.)

It shocks me that any employer would ever imagine they can discriminate against an employee simply because she becomes pregnant; doing so against a foreign worker is highly unethical and exploitative.  Check on how to file a human right's complaint in your province.  Get as much of what has happened in writing, such as writing a letter confirming your understanding of the employer's decision and sending it to them, then giving them time to respond.  Something like "we merely wish to confirm that due to pregnancy, you have decided to terminate her employment with your company..."  Perhaps if they see it in writing they'll go do their homework and do the right thing!

Best wishes for you, your wife and your new child!

FSW applied 6/09, denied (med inadmissible) 12/11. JR leave granted 7/12, discontinued 9/12. Spousal app PPR 9/12. Landed 13 October 2012
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobsLuv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2012 at 9:37am
This is where the inland spousal application process is advantageous.  Apply to sponsor her via the inland application.  Include an extension of her work permit application (don't forget to include a copy of her work permit!) with the inland PR application.  Be sure that both - mailed together - get to CPC-Vegreville BEFORE her work permit expires on Dec 15th.  As long as the inland spousal PR ap and the extension application are received before her work permit expires, her current status  (her work permit, and her SIN) remains valid until a decision is made on the first stage assessment of the PR ap (after 11 months) and she is issued a new open work permit.  This is called "implied status" and you can read more about it in Section 24 of the OP11 Temporary Permit Manual and the Immigration & Refugee Protection Act Regulations (see both below). 

My suggestion is that you send the application packet, including the extension application, to Vegreville via a courier service like Purolator or FedEx so you get a dependable tracking of delivery and copy of the delivery signature.  Be sure to keep copies of both applications and all of your supporting documentation, along with her original work permit so you have proof that you have complied with the conditions for extending her permit.

24. Implied status

A temporary resident must apply to extend their period of authorized stay before it ends. If they
have done so, their period of authorized stay as a temporary resident is extended by law until a
decision is made [R183(5)]. Such a person is considered to have implied status as a temporary
resident during that period.
If a temporary resident applies for renewal of their work or study permit and their permit expires
before a decision is made, R186(u) and R189 (the right to continue working or studying under the
same conditions pending a determination of their application for renewal) apply only as long as
the person remains in Canada. 

186(u) of the Regulations: "A foreign national may work in Canada without a work permit until a decision is made on an application made by them under subsection 201(1), if they have remained in Canada after the expiry of their work permit and they have continued to comply with the conditions set out on the expired work permit, other than the expiry date."

Edited by RobsLuv - 20 May 2012 at 9:39am
12/2008-ADR failed
1/2010-Appeal allowed
4/2010-In Process(Again)
5/2010-request FBI/meds
8/2010-FBI recd
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