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New immigration program for out-of-status construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area

the CanadaVisa Team - 29 July, 2019

Toronto construction program
Toronto construction program

Canada is providing a new pathway to permanent residence for 500 out-of-status immigrants working in construction in the Greater Toronto Area.

The construction industry in the Greater Toronto Area is facing significant labour shortages and relies in part on an underground labour market comprised of out-of-status workers.

Out-of-status workers are those who came to Canada with a valid immigration status that has since lapsed, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation.

To address this issue, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will issue permanent resident status to 500 out-of-status construction workers and their families via a new temporary program managed in conjunction with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

“Without status, these workers have continued to fill labour shortages, while contributing greatly to our society and economy,” the CLC said in a news release. “However, fear of detection, detainment, and deportation drives these workers and their families ‘underground,’ often limiting their access to social programs, and making them vulnerable to employer exploitation and abuse.”


Foreign nationals must have met the following criteria in order to be eligible for the program:


The following occupations are eligible under the temporary program:


The Canadian Labour Congress will open applications on its website on September 3, 2019. Applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.

Should more than 500 people apply, priority will be given to those with

  1. children in Canada
  2. a spouse or common-law partner in Canada

IRCC will begin processing applications referred to it by the Canadian Labour Congress on January 2, 2020.

Removal orders, where they exist, will be stayed for those approved through the program.

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