Claim refugee status from inside Canada: work and study permits
Work or study while waiting for a refugee claim decision
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If you’re in Canada waiting for a decision on your refugee claim, you can apply for a work or study permit. If you haven’t made a refugee claim yet, you can submit both applications at the same time.
Apply for a work permit
If you already submitted your refugee claim, but didn’t apply for a permit at the same time, you can apply for a work permit separately.
With your application, you need to include a copy of your refugee protection claimant document and proof that
- you did your immigration medical examination
- you need a job to pay for your basic needs (food, clothing, shelter)
- the family members you’re requesting permits for are with you in Canada
There are no fees for these permits when you’re waiting for a decision on your refugee claim.
To avoid delays, make sure we always have your current address. You can change your address online.
Apply for a study permit
If you already submitted your refugee claim, but didn’t apply for a permit at the same time, you can apply for a study permit separately. A study permit lets you go to school while you’re waiting for a decision on your claim.
With your application, you need to provide a letter of acceptance from the school.
Minor children don’t need a study permit to go to kindergarten, elementary or secondary school.
Extend your work or study permit
If you apply to extend your work or study permit before it expires, you have the right to keep working or studying while you wait for a decision on your extension.
To prove that you can still work or study, you can show your
- expired work or study permit
- proof of your application for an extension, including:
- a copy of your application
- your fee receipt
- confirmation that it was sent and delivered before your permit expired
If you let your work or study permit expire before you apply to extend it, you have to submit a new application and stop working or studying while you wait for a decision.
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