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. For example, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTA) Temporary Public Policy for Out-of-Status Construction Workers was introduced to address the vulnerabilities that come with a lost status and to acknowledge the economic contributions made by construction workers. 

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 minimize the construction workforce shortage. The GTA is defined in this public policy as the City of Toronto and the following regions:

  • Durham
  • Halton
  • Peel
  • York

We can deduce that the purpose of extending this policy was to address the labour shortage, as many Canadian firms are employing individuals with construction experience. A few of the job openings include laborers and assistants in the construction trades, heavy equipment operators, installation and services for homes and businesses, etc. This policy will remain in effect until July 2024, or until the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have worked together to achieve the goal of processing 1,000 principle applicants in the Greater Toronto Area (along with their accompanying family members).All eligible workers, whether or not they are members of a union, may apply, and nominations are accepted 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 finalized 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. Is employed without authorization in the GTA’s construction industry at the time of the Canadian Labour Congress’s (CLC) eligibility assessment; has accrued, and can substantiate, three years of full-time work experience during the previous five years in the GTA’s construction industry in the vocations listed in Annex A;
  4. Possesses a spouse, common-law partner, or child living in Canada, or has family (mother, father, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or cousin) who is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  5. Possesses a referral letter from the CLC attesting to the applicant’s compliance with the aforementioned eligibility standards; nonetheless, the delegated officer will ultimately decide whether the applicant satisfies the conditions (eligibility requirements); and
  6. Is not inadmissible other than pursuant to any of the following:
    1. For no other reason than false representations regarding working without permission and exceeding their temporary residence status, as stated in paragraph 40(1)(a) of the Act; 
    2. Paragraph 41(a) of the Act, only for the purpose of working without authorization and exceeding their temporary resident status;
    3. Section 42 of the Act in cases where the family member’s overstaying their temporary residence status and working or studying without permission are the only grounds for inadmissibility under 40(1)(a), 41(a), or 42 of the Act. 

Building an equitable, inclusive, and thriving community in the Greater Toronto Area requires extending the public policy protecting out-of-status construction workers. 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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