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Sherbrooke: French immigrant deprived of work due to lack of documents

Sherbrooke: French immigrant deprived of work due to lack of documents

A father who arrived in Sherbrooke in 2020 found himself banned from working overnight after failing to submit the necessary document. But the French citizen denounced the lack of support and above all humanity from the federal government.

The Sherbrooke family's life was turned upside down by an administrative problem. Johan Halach settled in Sherbrooke in October 2020 with his wife and two sons. Since his arrival, he has worked in one of the city's factories. The couple even gave birth to the family's first little girl in the town in Estre.

In 2023, the Frenchman received the Quebec Selection Certificate. He then applied to the federal government for permanent residency, but failed to send a document. He was not informed until five months later, at the same time as his temporary work license was about to expire.

“I made a mistake, but how did I get told at the last minute? However, I contacted them several times during this five-month period and no one turned it on.

Since February 13, the Al-Hallak family has been deprived of income. “I ended up going to food banks. Pride and morale are affected, but I have no choice. I have savings that allow me to pay the rent and some expenses, but they cannot last for several months. I am crying from the bottom of my heart,” he added.

For her part, his partner, Leyla Ojanic, has visitor status and cannot work until her permanent residency application is processed. “What are we doing? Do we take our signals and slaps and leave? No, I don’t want that, starting from scratch. We have built something important here, my children go to school and are happy.”

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The new Sherbrooke resident contacted the office of federal MP Elisabeth Breyer. The latter declined to comment publicly on this specific issue, as did Citizenship, Refugees and Immigration Canada.