Canada expands immigration program for out-of-status construction workers in the GTA

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is expanding a pilot program for migrants who have fallen out-of-status to help employers address critical labour shortages.

Mississauga East-Cooksville MP Peter Fonseca and Davenport MP Julie Dzerowicz made the announcement today on behalf of Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

In 2019, IRCC and 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). Officials say that based on the success of this program, the scope is now being doubled to 1,000.

“The extension and expansion of the initiative to regularize the status of construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area will help address labour shortages in this key industry, while providing opportunities for workers who have been contributing to our economy to find a permanent home in Canada,” Fonseca said. “By taking away the fear of removal, this program truly improves the lives and communities of those who have fallen out-of-status.”

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.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says the program provides protection for the workers and their families as well as the Canadian labour market.

“By providing regular pathways for out-of-status migrants, we are not only protecting workers and their families, but also safeguarding Canada’s labour market and ensuring that we can retain the skilled workers we need to grow our economy and build our communities,” Fraser noted in statement sent to the press Friday morning.

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