Area of Law: Immigration Law
Answer # 674
Can a refugee work in Canada?Region: Ontario Answer # 674
Refugees are not allowed to work in Canada unless they obtain a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Most refugee claimants can apply to IRCC for a work permit once their refugee claims have been referred to the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). Generally, only those who cannot pay for their basic needs without public assistance are eligible for a work permit. Furthermore, they may need to provide IRCC with the results of a medical examination before a work permit is granted.
To apply for a work permit, an application must be completed and mailed to IRCC. Additional documents, such as a copy of a passport or travel document, must be included with the application. Also, applicants must provide:
- proof that their Personal Information Form has been submitted to the IRB as part of their application for refugee status, or
- a copy of the completed Personal Information Form, which was signed and stamped by the IRB.
Once a refugee has been granted a work permit from IRCC, they can apply for a social insurance number (SIN), which allows a refugee to legally work, pay taxes, and use government services. Refugee claimants do not need to pay a fee to apply for a work permit or a SIN.
For more information about work permits and to obtain application forms, visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
To find foreign consulates and embassies in your province, click here.
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