June 9, 2021

Updates on Temporary Public Policy for Out-of-Status Construction Workers in the GTA

Posted by Lijing Cao - Bellissimo Law Group PC

A new temporary public policy was announced by the Government of Canada in May 2021 to replace the existing Temporary Public Policy for Out-of-Status Construction Workers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The previous policy that took effect in January 2020 will terminate on 29 July 2021, and be replaced by the updated Temporary Public Policy to Further Facilitate Access to Permanent Resident Status for Out-of-Status Construction Workers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).[1]

It is no secret that the construction industry has been dealing with acute labour shortages. This temporary public policy aims at regularizing undocumented construction workers and addressing their vulnerable position due to lack of immigration status, as well as recognizing their economic contribution to the Canadian economy by filling regional labour market needs. There is a cap of 500 applications, which includes applications already approved under the previous policy.

To qualify under the new policy, the applicant must meet the following conditions:

  1. Have legally entered Canada as a temporary resident but currently have no status;
  2. Have lived in Canada for at least five years at the time of their applications;
  3. Be working and have at least three years of full-time work experience in listed occupations in the construction industry in the GTA;
  4. Have family living in Canada who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or have a spouse, common-law partner or child in Canada;
  5. Have a (referral) letter issued by the Canadian Labour Congress; and
  6. Be otherwise admissible to Canada.

Qualified occupations are listed under Annex A, including:

  • Major Group 72 industrial, electrical and construction trades
  • Major Group 73 maintenance and equipment operation trades
  • NOC 7441 – residential and commercial installers and servicers
  • NOC 7521 – heavy equipment operators (except crane)
  • NOC 7611 – construction trades helpers and labourers

Family members of the construction workers, whether they are in Canada or outside Canada, may be eligible to be granted permanent residence under this policy if they meet certain conditions. Note that principal applicants or family members who have made a refugee claim in Canada are not eligible under this public policy.

Once a principal applicant receives an approval in principle, a removal order, where one exists, will be stayed as per section 233 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. The stay of removal will be in effect until a final decision is made on the permanent residence application.

The new public policy will be effective on 30 July 2021, and apply to applications received by IRCC on or after that date. The policy will end on 2 January 2023 or once 500 principal applicants (plus their accompanying family members) have received permanent residence, whichever comes first.

Thank you for reading. This article is prepared for general information only, and it is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult a member of our legal team about your unique circumstances before acting on this information.