Processing in-Canada and port of entry claims: General requirements and administration

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

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Medicals and related documentation

Medical examination

All refugee claimants in Canada must submit to a medical examination (refer to section 30(1)(e) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)). The cost of the medical examination is covered by the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). All claimants are assessed by a panel physician. Medical screening must be completed within 30 days from the date the claim was received.

Under the following conditions, a repeat medical is not required for an in-Canada refugee claim:

  • They have already had an immigration medical examination and the results are still valid.
  • The result is M1, M2 or M3, unless the M3 is notated “only acceptable as visitor”.

Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP)

Once a person is found eligible to make a refugee claim, determine whether the claimant is eligible for IFHP coverage.

Dependents in Canada who are not included in the principal applicant’s refugee claim and who have not made their own refugee claim are not entitled to IFHP benefits.

If the client is eligible, and the appropriate system entries are made, the client’s refugee protection claimant document (RPCD) should feature text indicating this eligibility.

Permits and documents

Study permits

Foreign nationals, and refugee claimants and their accompanying family members may apply for a study permit after entering Canada if they are subject to an unenforceable removal order (R215).

Refugee claimants cannot request a study permit at the same time as they submit their refugee claim. Refugee claimants wishing to study in Canada must apply online separately for a study permit and must have a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution.

Minor children do not require a study permit to attend kindergarten, elementary or secondary school (refer to section 30 (2) of Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)).

Learn more about issuing student permits.

Work permits

For information about work permit issuance for refugee claimants, refer to Applicants with no other means of support [R206 – S61 and S62].

Replacement of lost, stolen or destroyed RPCDs and renewal of expired RPCDs

Regardless of where the claim is originally made, clients should contact the nearest local Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office for the replacement or renewal of an RPCD. If the client does not know the location of the nearest local IRCC office, they may check online.

General administration

Referrals from social services agencies

In large processing centres, inland IRCC offices may receive referrals of refugee claimants from social service agencies (for example, the Salvation Army). When possible, offices should deal with such claimants expeditiously so that they do not remain in shelters longer than necessary.

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