Permanent Residence for “Out-of-Status” Construction Workers in the GTA

September 3, 2019

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is proud to be working with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to implement a temporary initiative that will help 500 out-of-status construction workers find a pathway to permanent residence that will end the insecure nature of their employment and immigration status.

Out-of-status workers are people who have come to Canada with valid temporary residence status, but have fallen out of status for various reasons, and have found employment in the construction industry. Without status, these workers have continued to fill labour shortages, while contributing greatly to our society and economy. However, fear of detection, detainment, and deportation drives these workers and their families “underground,” often limiting their access to social programs, and making them vulnerable to employer exploitation and abuse.

The CLC will be engaging at the highest level of due diligence to ensure the safety and security of any applicants who come forward to take part in this initiative.


The purpose of this initiative is to put in place a mechanism for the Government of Canada and the CLC, in the spirit of co-operation and mutual interest, to work together in the identification and referral for processing of applications for permanent residence in Canada of up to 500 out-of-status construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and their immediate family members (e.g., spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children).

Up to 100 of the 500 spaces for this public policy will be permitted for those who entered Canada as a temporary resident, but who never had authorization to work in Canada.


This initiative will run from January 2, 2020 to January 1, 2022; or when 500 principal applicants (plus their family members) have been granted permanent residence, whichever comes first.

The CLC application process for identifying candidates to be referred to IRCC is open starting on September 3, 2019.


Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as defined by Statistics Canada – Toronto Economic Region: City of Toronto, Durham Region, Halton Region, Peel Region, York Region.

Applicant Selection:

Applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis and is open to all qualified workers, whether or not they are unionized. Identification and referral of potential applicants under the public policy will be carried out in an unbiased, fair and equitable manner.

The CLC has engaged an immigration lawyer and support staff specifically trained for this initiative.

Applicants will undergo rigorous screening by the CLC, based on the eligibility criteria, which may include in-person and/or telephone interviews. All information received from potential candidates and through applications will be treated with the strictest of confidence.

The CLC will only refer to IRCC applications that the CLC determines to be eligible under the public policy, having met ALL of the criteria established by IRCC.

The CLC will undertake to maintain, respect and protect fully the confidentiality of the information received from or about applicants, and not to release it to anyone other than the individual to whom it relates, unless such release is clearly authorized by the applicant. This applies to all applicants – whether or not their application is successful.

Eligibility Criteria

For a detailed description of this initiative and eligibility requirements, visit:

Application Process is open

The application process is open starting September 3, 2019. Applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis and is open to all qualified workers, whether or not they are unionized. To apply, get the application form here.

The application for permanent residence will include a referral letter from the CLC attesting that the CLC determines the applicant to be eligible under the public policy.   Spouses/partners and dependent children can be included in the application for permanent residence.

Only those who the CLC determines to be eligible under the public policy will be considered for referral by the CLC.

IRCC will only begin accepting applications referred by the CLC on January 2, 2020.


For questions about this initiative, please contact the CLC at:

Toll-Free: 1-844-986-0390

Local: 613-526-7429

For questions about other matters pertaining to immigration and citizenship, outside of this initiative, please contact:

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