Building a Better Future by motivating the construction workers to apply for PR.

Offering job opportunities and stimulating urban expansion, the construction industry is a crucial driver of economic progress. Yet, due to their immigrant status, a sizable minority of construction workers in the GTA are subject to legal uncertainty. A lot of people are caught in a vicious circle of vulnerability and exploitation because they lack the necessary paperwork.

In a recent update on the official website of Canada.ca states that  a public policy to cater to out of status construction workers in GTA has been extended till July 2, 2024.

Background of Temporary Public Policy for Out-of-Status Construction Workers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

Several programs for out-of-status workers have been introduced in the past. The Temporary Public Policy for Out-of-Status Construction Workers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTA), for example, was launched in recognition of the economic contributions of construction workers and to address the vulnerabilities that accompany a lost status.

This policy recognizes the effort of construction workers and their contribution to the economy and therefore offers out of status employees the opportunity of permanent residency. It was first implemented in January 2020 and was updated in July 2021 and came into effect again on January 3, 2023 and now extended until July 2nd 2024. IRCC introduced this policy inorder to consolidate the vulnerable position of these workers due to their lack of immigration status as well as undocumented labour and to minimise the construction workforce shortage. For this public policy, the GTA is defined as the City of Toronto and the regions of:

  • Durham
  • Halton
  • Peel
  • York

It can be concluded that this policy was extended inorder to meet the labour shortages as Canadian employers are hiring a lot of people who possess the skills of construction. Few of the vacancies include Construction trades helpers and labourers, heavy equipment operators, residential and commercial installers and services etc. This policy is extended until July 2024 or once The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) with the help of  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reached a target to process a total of 1,000 principal applicants (plus their accompanying family members) in the GTA.The application process is available to all qualifying employees, unionised or not, and nominations are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Eligibility

The first step is to meet the eligibility requirement once you are eligible to apply you must fill Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) application intake form. IRCC will then review the profile approved by CLC and announce the decision. While your Permanent residency is being finalised IRCC will give you a temporary resident permit (TRP) and a work permit that lets you legally work in Canada. The dependent family members of Construction workers can apply at the same time.

The eligibility requirements as outlined by IRCC are as followed

  1. Legally entered Canada as a temporary resident;
  2. Has continuously resided in Canada for at least five years on the date of their application;
  3. At the time of the eligibility assessment by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), is working without authorization in the construction industry in the GTA and has accumulated, and be able to provide evidence of, three years full-time work experience within the past five years in construction in the GTA in the occupations referenced in Annex A;
  4. Has family (mother, father, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or cousin) living in Canada who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or has a spouse, common-law partner or child in Canada;
  5. Has a referral letter signed by the CLC attesting that the applicant meets the above eligibility conditions; however, it is the delegated officer who will make the final determination whether the applicant meets the conditions (eligibility requirements); and
  6. Is not inadmissible other than pursuant to any of the following:
    1. paragraph 40(1)(a) of the Act for no other reasons than misrepresentation related to overstaying their temporary resident status and working without authorization;
    2. paragraph 41(a) of the Act for no other reasons than overstaying their temporary resident status and working without authorization;
    3. section 42 of the Act where the family member is inadmissible under 40(1)(a), 41(a) or 42 of the Act for no other reasons than overstaying their temporary resident status and working or studying without authorization.

Extending the public policy to safeguard out – of -status construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area is an essential measure in building an equitable, inclusive, and prosperous community. Canada strengthens the pillars of the community as a whole and elevates the workers by recognizing their contributions and offering legal protections.

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