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  • Writer's pictureGiuseppe Marini

Permanent Residency for Out-of-Status Construction Workers

Innovative Immigration Measure Simultaneously Addresses Labour Shortages and

Allows for Out-of-Status Construction Workers to Gain Permanent Residency.



Migrant workers who have come to Canada with a valid temporary residence status have filled job shortages in the construction industry for years. Unfortunately, it was all too common for them to fall out of status while they were working. Previous changes such as the “four in, four out” system resulted in workers losing their status all together. The Canadian government recognizes that the presence of out-of-status workers in a significant industry leads to depressed wages and makes migrant workers vulnerable to employer abuse and exploitation.

To mitigate the above circumstances, the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) partnered with the CLC (Canadian Labour Congress) in 2019 to create a pilot program focused solely on addressing Out-of-Status construction workers throughout the GTA. The goal of the program was to recognize the contributions migrant workers made to Canada’s economy, infrastructure, and communities and reward them with a method of regularizing their status.

The success of the pilot initiative has resulted in an announcement from the IRCC doubling the scope from 500 to 1,000 out-of-status construction workers in the GTA. Eligible individuals have until January 2, 2024, to apply for permanent residence. The program is not limited to the individual, allowing for spouses, partners, and dependent children to be included in the application as well. Applicants must submit their names to the CLC who then determines eligibility and then refer them to the IRCC.


This program is an important milestone in the GTA as it addresses labour shortages by not only utilising the valuable skills of Out-of-Status migrants but also recognizing them for their contributions to the Canadian economy.


“This pilot program is a significant step forward in addressing critical labour shortages for the Greater Toronto Area by supporting stability in the construction industry and bringing workers out of the underground economy. 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. This initiative is a testament to our government’s commitment to finding innovative solutions to support Canada’s workforce and strengthen our economy.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship


Immigration processes can be difficult to navigate due to their requirements, complexities, and particularities. Fomcenco law can help to make these processes far easier! Book a free consultation on our website at your earliest convenience.



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