MISSISSAUGA, ONT. — The federal government recently announced it has doubled the number of out-of-status construction workers who will be eligible for permanent residence status in the GTA from 500 to 1,000 with the expansion of a 2019 pilot program.
A release stated that program was expanded and extended to provide greater stability in the construction industry and to help bring a larger number of workers out of the underground economy.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been working with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) on the program.
Eligible workers have until Jan. 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.
“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,” stated Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser in a statement.
CLC president Bea Bruske said the out-of-status construction workers contribute greatly to the economy and society and fill labour shortages.
“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.”