The Canadian government is always looking for new ways to create immigration opportunities for individuals seeking to come to Canada and become permanent residents. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has created several pilot programs which are designed to help specific groups of people immigrate to Canada and to highlight particular locations in the country that are seeking immigrants. Examples of these pilot programs include the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, and the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot. 

Pilot programs were also designed to address specific labour market needs and to help Canada’s economy grow. Each program has unique requirements and criteria for eligibility, which can be very narrow. However, these programs offer immigration opportunities to people and areas which otherwise would not receive them.

Pilot Pathway for Construction Workers in Toronto

In 2019, the Canadian government announced a new temporary program called the Temporary Public Policy for Out-of-Status Construction Workers in the Greater Toronto Area. This program is intended to create a pathway to permanent residency for up to 500 construction workers who are out of status in the Greater Toronto Area.

The government created the policy in response to a parliamentary report on labour shortages in the construction industry. The policy allowed out of status workers to gain status and positively contribute to Canada’s labour market. Further, a worker’s spouse or partner and any dependent children could be included as part of the application for permanent residence. 

2023 Pilot Program Expansion

On January 20, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced that it would expand the pilot program for out-of-status construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area. 

Now, the program has expanded to offer permanent residence to 1,000 Greater Toronto Area construction workers. The rationale for the expansion of the program is that it will help alleviate labour shortages within Canada while helping Canada’s economy, as these workers will be brought out of the underground economy. 

The Need for Program Expansion

This program specifically acknowledges and affirms the vital role that construction workers play in terms of helping grow and build our communities. Further, it provides workers and their families with an avenue toward the often sought-after status of permanent residency. This particular program is one of several new measures which are being implemented in an effort to address ongoing Canadian labour shortages.

In addition to helping bring and retain construction workers, it encourages greater stability within the construction industry and further, helps ensure that skilled workers are able to address prominent housing development needs within our cities. 

Who Qualifies for the Program?

Currently, the construction worker pilot program is only open to undocumented construction workers residing in the Toronto, Durham, Peel, York and Halton regions. Applicants must satisfy additional requirements, which include:

  • initially entering Canada as a temporary resident and having lived here for at least five years;
  • having a family member who is a permanent resident or citizen and is living in Canada, or have a child or spouse in Canada; and
  • not possessing a record of previous offences which would make them inadmissible to Canada, aside from breaching immigration law due to overstaying in the country.  

The program states that individuals holding a job in the following categories are eligible to apply:

  • maintenance and equipment operation trades;
  • construction trades helpers and labourers; 
  • heavy equipment operations (except crane);
  • residential and commercial installers and servicers; and
  • trades and skilled transport and equipment operators.

Details Regarding the Application Process

Individuals who are eligible for the program may apply before January 2, 2024. The program will continue to allow spouses, partners and dependent children of construction workers as part of their application for permanent residence. 

Potential applicants must submit their name to the Canadian Labour Congress, which is a national labour organization with many construction industry affiliates in the Greater Toronto Area, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. After receiving the application, Canadian Labour Congress will then determine the applicant’s eligibility before referring them to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for further processing.

Contact Garson Immigration Law to make a Permanent Residence Application through this Program

Garson Immigration Law is a firm exclusively dedicated to the practice of immigration law. We successfully guide clients through the immigration process and offer advice to clients on various immigration programs which they may be eligible for. Our Canadian immigration team works hard to create tailored solutions for your individual immigration needs and ensure you are positioned for success with respect to your application. 

The immigration lawyers at Garson Immigration Law have extensive experience guiding clients through the process to become permanent Canadian residents. If you have questions regarding your application for permanent residence, contact us online or call us at 416-321-2860 to learn more about how we can help you.

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