You need a work permit
If you’ve filed a claim for refugee protection in Canada, you need a work permit.
You may be eligible for an open work permit if you filed a claim for refugee protection in Canada and you meet 4 conditions:
- you’re waiting for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to decide on your claim
- you cannot pay for your basic needs without working
- you have valid immigration medical exam results
- we won’t issue your work permit until you pass your immigration medical exam
- you meet the general eligibility requirements for a work permit
Normally, you’ll apply for your open work permit when you make your claim for refugee protection. If you didn’t apply for a work permit when you made your claim, you can apply later.
If you’re extending your work permit
If you’re extending your work permit and your medical results are no longer valid, you can’t work in a job that requires a medical exam. Your work permit will list conditions that limit where you can work.
Your family members are not eligible for an open work permit unless they’ve also made a claim for refugee protection. They may qualify for another type of work permit.
You don’t need to pay any fees for this work permit.
When you apply
When you fill out your work permit application form
- Select “Open Work Permit” as the type of work permit in the “Details of intended work in Canada” section.
- Leave the employer section of the application blank.
- If you don’t have a passport, you may add a series of 0 for the passport number
- Provide a letter of explanation as to why you do not have a passport
You can apply online (recommended) or on paper.
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