2. Learn who may not qualify for immigration reasons
Beware of scams
People have been getting phone calls with a pre-recorded message telling them their Ontario Works account has been deleted.
This is a scam to trick you into sharing your personal information. If you get a call like that, hang up the phone. You can report these calls to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
Question & AnswerCan I be on OW if I’m not a permanent resident or citizen?
You don't have to have a certain kind of immigration status to qualify for from Ontario Works (OW).
The law only says who does not qualify because of immigration reasons.
Who does not qualify for assistance
There are 3 situations in which you may not qualify for OW assistance because of immigration reasons.
The 3 situations are:
- You're in Canada as a tourist.
- You're in Canada as a visitor.
- There's a removal order that says you have to leave Canada and there's nothing to legally stop the Canada Border Services Agency from forcing you to leave.
But if you're in one of these situations, you might still qualify.
You can't get financial assistance from OW if you're in Canada as a tourist. A tourist is someone who's here for a short period of time and plans to leave.
Usually, a tourist has temporary status in Canada as a visitor.
But even if you came to Canada as a tourist, your status can change. For example, if you make a refugee claim, you're no longer a tourist and may qualify for financial assistance.
If your status as a visitor has expired, talk to a community legal clinic. You might qualify for financial assistance.
You don't qualify for financial assistance from OW if you're a visitor unless:
- you made a refugee claim
- you applied for permanent resident status
For example, you may be able to get financial assistance if you applied for status:
- for humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) reasons, or
- because you're being sponsored by your spouse or partner.
If you made a refugee claim, getting financial assistance from OW does not affect the decision about your refugee claim.
But if you're applying for permanent resident status for H&C reasons, you may want to get legal advice about getting OW assistance.
3. People who have a removal order
You may not qualify for financial assistance from OW if:
- there's a removal order against you, and
- the Canada Border Services Agency can legally use it to force you to leave Canada.
But even if this applies to you, you may be able to get financial assistance if:
- you've applied for permanent resident status for humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) reasons
- you can't leave Canada for reasons “wholly beyond your control”
Not able to leave Canada
Here are some examples of reasons why you can't leave Canada that may be “wholly beyond your control”:
- You don't have a passport or other travel document and you have not been able to get one.
- You're waiting for the Canada Border Services Agency to arrange to remove you.
- The Canada Border Services Agency can't remove you because no country will take you.
- You're from a country that Canada is not removing people to.