Can I work in Canada after I make a refugee claim?

1. Apply for a work permit when you make your refugee claim

You can apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for an open work permit when you complete your refugee claim forms. Or you can apply later using a work permit application form.

When you make your refugee claim, you have to fill out a number of forms, including a Schedule 12. The Schedule 12 includes a box at Question 10 to mark if you want a work permit.  

IRCC should automatically start processing your work permit application after you have your immigration medical exam.

If your work permit is not mailed to you within 3 months, call the IRCC Client Support Centre at 1-888-242-2100. 

A settlement worker at your local settlement agency can help you apply for social assistance while you wait for your work permit. They can also help you follow up with IRCC if you do not receive your work permit.

Update your address

Your work permit will be sent by mail so it’s very important that IRCC has your correct address. You can update your address online or you can call the IRCC Client Support Centre at 1-888-242-2100.

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