Lilia Ordinario Joaquin was set for deportation after she was found to have worked in Canada without authorization.
Joaquin legally arrived in the country in 2007 under the live-in caregiver program.
In 2009, she applied for permanent residency and an open work permit. When her contract with her original employer ended, she was left with no work and no work permit – her application was not immediately processed because of backlogs.
Joaquin was unable to find a new job because employers were reluctant to hire someone without a work permit.
Unable to find an alternative source of income to support herself and her family back in the Philippines, she worked as an ‘illegal’ nanny.
This is a case of misrepresentation, and she admitted the fact to an immigration officer during investigation. This brought about the decision to deport her back to the Philippines.
However, when Joaquin’s case was made known to the public, it got a lot of media exposure and support from the community – first, because the reason for her lack of work permit, the delay in processing due to backlogs, was beyond her control; and two, because her work is altruistic in nature.
When the issue reached the knowledge of Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in Canada, he reviewed the case and decided to give Joaquin a reprieve after considering ‘humanitarian and compassionate factors’.
It was also found out that Joaquin is eligible for permanent residency.
Two days before she was scheduled for deportation, she received a letter from the minister bearing the news that says she was granted an exemption and can then remain in Canada and pursue her application as a permanent resident.
This means Joaquin can work again once her work permit is approved, and she can bring her family to Canada when she finally becomes a permanent resident in the country.