Relief for the Construction Industry

In 2020, IRCC introduced a special program to allow out-of-status construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to regularize their status. The public policy was implemented in response to numerous studies confirming massive labour shortages in the construction industry in the GTA, and the key role that out-of-status workers have played in filling the gap. Though they have made significant contributions to filling a regional labour market need, those without immigration status in Canada are in a highly vulnerable position, unable to enforce their employment rights and often lacking access to critical health and safety measures. The original iteration of the program allowed 500 construction workers and their immediate family members to become Canadian permanent residents.

The initial temporary program ended on July 30, 2021, but it has now been replaced by a new, similar program with revised eligibility criteria. To qualify, an out-of-status construction worker must:

  • Have initially legally entered Canada as a temporary resident;
  • Have continuously resided in Canada for a minimum of five years;
  • Be working without authorization at the time of application and have accumulated three years of full-time work experience in construction in the GTA (with or without valid immigration status);
  • Have a family member living in Canada who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or have a spouse, common-law partner or child in Canada;
  • Have a referral letter from the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) confirming that eligibility requirements are met;
  • Not be inadmissible to Canada for any reason other than overstaying and working without authorization.

The new policy will be in place either to January 2, 2023, or until 500 applicants (and their accompanying family members) have been granted permanent residence.

If you have further questions about this program, please contact one of our lawyers. Our professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;;;