Home Immigration Canada doubles scope of PR pilot program to 1000 out-of-status construction workers in GTA

Canada doubles scope of PR pilot program to 1000 out-of-status construction workers in GTA

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Canada doubles scope of PR pilot program to 1000 out-of-status construction workers in GTA

The permanent residence pilot program launched in 2019 for 500 out-of-status workers in the construction industry in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) now applies to 1,000 workers. Established by  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in partnership with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the successful program acknowledges the critical role that construction workers play in building and growing Canada’s cities. It offers these workers and their families a path to permanent residency so that they can stay in the country long-term.

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, which will determine their eligibility before referring them to IRCC.

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser says that this program is a “significant step forward in addressing critical labour shortages for the GTA by supporting stability in the construction industry and bringing workers out of the underground economy.” He adds that 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.”

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). As a national organization that represents numerous construction unions, the CLC has been a critical partner in the pilot, helping to identify eligible applicants.

Bea Bruske, President of the CLC states they’re pleased to continue assisting another 500 out-of-status construction workers and their immediate families in finding a pathway to permanent residence that will end the insecure nature of their employment and immigration status in 2023. “Without status, the workers live and work in fear of detection, detainment and deportation. Out-of-status workers are vulnerable to employer exploitation and abuse, and they and their families live with limited access to education, health and social programs. The extension of the out-of-status construction workers in the GTA initiative for 2023 will help more vulnerable workers and their families during these uncertain times,” says Bruske.

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.

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