Canada doubles immigration program for out-of-status construction workers in Toronto

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MISSISSAUGA, ON: Canada announced that it is extending and expanding the pilot program that offers PR to out-of-status construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area.

In 2019, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in partnership with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), launched a permanent residence pilot program for 500 out-of-status workers in the construction industry in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
 
Building on the success of this initiative, Peter Fonseca, Member of Parliament for Mississauga East-Cooksville and Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that IRCC is doubling its scope to 1,000 out-of-status construction workers in the GTA.

 Since the launch of the out-of-status construction workers in the GTA pilot in July 2019, 452 individuals have been accepted as permanent residents (190 principal applicants and 262 dependants).

Eligible individuals have until January 2, 2024, to apply for permanent residence and can include their spouses, partners and dependent children in their application. Potential applicants will continue to submit their names to the CLC, who will determine their eligibility before referring them to IRCC.

Under the pilot, applicants who have significant work experience in construction occupations in the GTA, family members in Canada, a referral letter from the CLC and no reason for being inadmissible other than overstaying their visa and working without authorization may be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

“This pilot program is a significant step forward in addressing critical labour shortages for the Greater Toronto Area by supporting stability in the construction industry and bringing workers out of the underground economy,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

This program acknowledges the critical role that construction workers play in building and growing cities, and offers them and their families a path to permanent residency so that they can stay long-term.

The program promotes greater stability in the construction industry and ensures that skilled workers in Canada continue to address critical housing development needs. Just as important, this initiative will help bring a larger number of workers out of the underground economy, which benefits Canada’s world-renowned programs and services (like the Canada Child Benefit, Old Age Security and Employment Insurance).