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Hiding for Survival

Non-status migrants are individuals who do not hold a valid immigration document or official status to stay in Canada. This paper presents a case study on the experiences of non-status migrants seeking access to health, social, and community services. Through interviews with five non-status migrants, the authors Nellie Alcaraz, Ilyan Ferrer, Jose Gabriel Abes and Liza Lorenzetti explore the specific needs, rights, services and barriers they encountered. Their findings highlight five case-based themes that centre on the (1) undocumented and hidden costs of striving for status, (2) aspirations to stay in Canada, (3) navigation through the everyday struggles to survive, (4) acts of selflessness and (5) resistance against the stigmatisation of being labelled a non-status migrant. Despite their fear of exposure to professionals, non-status participants express willingness to utilise services in the community. However, there is considerable paucity of information about the resources that they could access freely and without risk. This paper offers key recommendations for social work practitioners who engage in social justice and advocacy work alongside non-status migrants in Canada.


This new academic research from social workers Alcaraz, Ferrer, Abes and Lorenzetti highlights the issues faced by Filipino non-status migrants. Click this link to read the full article.



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