“I feel like I’m just nowhere”: Causes and Challenges of Status Loss in Canada

Mia Tulli, Bukola Salami, Jessica Juen, Jason Foster, Helen Vallianatos, Philomina Okeke-Ihejirika

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


In this qualitative study, researchers conducted interviews with 11 participants who had entered Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and who had since loss status. To understand the lived experiences of participants, this article deploys a theoretical framework of transnationalism centring the concept of precarious status. Findings show policy changes, abuse and exploitation by employers, language barriers, and misinformation and language gaps drive workers out of status. Once without status, people often remain in Canada because they are motivated by issues related to family. These can include the continued desire to bring family members to Canada, financial responsibilities for family members in countries of origin, the desire to stay with Canadian partners or children, or the breakdown of family ties which dissuades the desire to return. Challenges of living without status include mental health struggles, financial strain, and barriers to service access. Interplays between factors driving status loss and experiences of those who live without status in Canada show that the state plays an important role in creating precarity through restrictive immigration and residency policies. Understandings the state’s role in the production of precarity may inform effective policy changes moving forward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-161
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar. 2023


  • Migration
  • Precarity
  • Status loss
  • Transnationalism


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