Migranté Canada, an advocacy group for migrant workers, is calling for the moratorium on fast-food workers to be lifted, or to exempt those waiting for permits to be renewed.
The moratorium was implemented by labour minister Jason Kenny earlier this month after a CBC investigation revealed several employers were allegedly abusing the program.
However, workers who found employment with the program say Ottawa’s decision is causing financial and personal turmoil.
Junniflor Magno has worked in the food industry in Edmonton for more than five years, but now her work permit has expired.
The moratorium means she can't get it renewed, and she fears she'll be deported.
“How can I have another job? How can I feed my family? I don't have work. How can I survive? I have a family who depends on me back home.”
Edmon Jacob was in the process of renewing his work permit when the moratorium was announced -- leaving him in a similar limbo.
He is now borrowing money from his girlfriend and cousin, and trying to figure out how to break the news to his family in the Philippines.
“My sister texted me two days ago that she needs some money ... so my problem now is how can I help them? How can I support them because I am not working anymore?”
The federal Liberal party have asked the auditor general to complete a full review of the controversial program.