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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: February 06, 2014
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04 Special Groups

Persons with Immigration Status

Immigration Status – Other Than Family Class


Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, sections 10(2)(e) and 12


If a person with immigration status other than Family Class status (i.e., Refugees, Temporary Resident Permit Holders, etc.) applies for Income Support (IS), the worker must verify the applicant’s immigration status and assess eligibility based on the criteria below.

Refugees and Protected Persons
If the applicant is a Convention Refugee or Protected Person Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will notify Community and Social Services if the applicant is eligible for the federal Resettlement Assistance Program. No benefits are issued until confirming the applicant is not eligible for the Resettlement Assistance Program.

If the applicant is not eligible for the Resettlement Assistance Program, they may be eligible for IS if they meet all other eligibility criteria.

Refugee Claimants
Refugee claimants may be eligible for IS while awaiting the Immigration and Refugee Board decision.

Refugee claimants are not eligible for:

  • health costs when they are covered by CIC, through the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) for "urgent or essential" medical care and medications and vaccines if the individual's medical condition poses a "risk to public health".
  • CIC administration costs (e.g., Permanent Residence application fees, etc.), or
  • federal or provincial employment or training initiatives.
Since IFHP coverage is limited, and does not cover most drugs, as well as, no coverage is provided for optical or dental services, refugees may be assisted with the cost of health benefits.

If employable, a refugee claimant must apply for a Work Permit as a condition of eligibility (if they have not already applied for one). A Work Permit is available (free of charge) for people awaiting a decision by the Immigration and Refugee Board. The Work Permit may take up to two months to obtain and will have a validity date indicated on the document. 

The client is considered Expected To Work and applying for the Work Permit is included on their Service Plan.

CIC requires the refugee claimant to provide a copy of their EMP 3428 Income Support Application, or their Community and Social Services direct deposit/cheque stub, to verify they are eligible for IS in order to process an application for a Work Permit. Refugee Claimants should be directed to CIC to ensure they receive accurate information and are aware of all required documents.

Once the refugee claimant receives the results of their application for Work Permit, the worker:

  • Reviews the client type for re-categorization.
  • BFs the file for the refugee protection hearing date.

Temporary Resident Permit Holder
Only Temporary Resident Permit Holders who

  • have been approved for entry into Alberta by the Alberta Government, or
  • been identified by CIC as a Victim of Human Trafficking 

may be eligible for IS if they meet all other eligibility criteria.

If a Temporary Resident Permit is cancelled, a direction to leave or a removal order may be issued to the person, or an inquiry may be initiated. If this occurs, they are responsible for their own support.

Ineligible Spouse/Partner
When a spouse/partner of an applicant or recipient is not eligible for IS benefits, the ineligible spouse's income and assets are considered to belong to the eligible household member and used to determine eligibility for the household. Income and earnings exemptions are applied. The ineligible spouse is not added to the file.