Work permits for refugee claimants
When can a refugee claimant get a work permit?
Once their claims have been referred to the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board, most refugee claimants can apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC) for a work permit.
They must show that they cannot support themselves without work. A claimant who has applied for social assistance or is on social assistance should include proof of that with their work permit application.
Claimants must also include proof that they have completed their medical examinations. The forms and instructions for getting a medical examination are given to claimants when they are found eligible for a refugee protection hearing. IRCC will not issue the work permit until they have the results of the medical examination.
Different rules apply to refugee claimants who are from a designated country of origin. These claimants cannot apply for work permits until either their refugee claim is accepted or 180 days have passed since their claim was referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board.
If a claimant has been ordered removed, but Canada Border Services Agency cannot enforce the order, the claimant may be able to get a work permit. Sometimes Canada Border Services Agency is not able to remove people because they are not able to get travel documents or because there is no country that will admit them.