Im­mi­grants and vis­i­tors to Canada work­ing for free a com­mon oc­cur­rence, lawyers say

StarMetro Vancouver - - VANCOUVER - ALEX MCKEEN Find out what the im­pli­ca­tions are of work­ing for free at thes­­cou­ver

The prac­tice of new im­mi­grants work­ing for free in or­der to gain Cana­dian work ex­pe­ri­ence — ei­ther in a vol­un­teer ca­pac­ity or in an un­paid “work place­ment”— is com­mon but may have im­pli­ca­tions for their sta­tus in Canada, im­mi­gra­tion lawyers say.

Whether or not the ar­range­ments are le­gal, im­mi­gra­tion lawyers say it’s com­mon for new­com­ers and vis­i­tors to Canada to seek un­paid work op­por­tu­ni­ties as a way to gain a foothold in the job mar­ket — but they may be putting their sta­tus in Canada at risk.

“Lots of peo­ple are well-in­tended and well-mean­ing when they of­fer the op­por­tu­nity to come in and ob­serve and job shadow,” said Bar­bara Jo Caruso, an Im­mi­gra­tion and Cit­i­zen­ship law spe­cial­ist who is also the Chair of the Cana­dian Bar As­so­ci­a­tion’s Im­mi­gra­tion com­mit­tee.


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