Relief for Construction Workers in the GTA

During summer months in Canada it is hard not to notice construction everywhere. The construction industry has had and will continue to have significant challenges in finding reliable labour. Often employers resort to hiring workers without authorization to work in Canada. Further compounding the issue for employers is the fact that there is an aging workforce in this industry, as younger generations are pursuing white collar jobs. Therefore, a recent announcement by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship with regards to a temporary program for construction workers without status in the Greater Toronto Area that will allow them to become permanent residents is welcomed news. He cited labour shortages in the construction industry in this region as the driving force behind this initiative.
Applications will be accepted starting January 2, 2020. There are 500 spots: 400 for those who legally entered Canada as a temporary resident and previously received authorization to work in the construction industry and have filed Canadian tax returns, and 100 for those who legally entered Canada as a temporary resident. Applications will be accepted until January 1, 2022 or until 500 applicants and their family members have been granted permanent residence, whichever comes first.
All applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Have continuously resided in Canada for at least five years on the date of their application;
  • Are currently working without authorization in the construction industry in the GTA and able to provide evidence of three years of full-time work experience within the past five years in construction in the GTA in the eligible occupations*
  • Demonstrate language ability at Canadian Language Benchmark 4 for speaking, listening, reading and writing;
  • Have 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 a spouse, common-law partner or child in Canada (regardless of immigration status);
  • Have a referral letter signed by the Canadian Labour Congress attesting that the applicant meets the above conditions; and
  • Not be inadmissible but for having overstayed as a temporary resident and worked without authorization (this applies to the applicant and accompanying family members).
Those with refused or pending refugee claims are not eligible to apply.
Corporate Immigration Law Firm is experienced in advising employers and foreign nationals on immigration issues. We were recently named one of Canada’s top 10 boutique immigration firms by Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Contact one of our immigration lawyers today for assistance.

*Eligible occupations are NOC codes starting with 72, 73, and codes 7441, 7521 and 7611. See for details.