Are You Eligible?

Find out if you meet the requirements to apply for an IAF loan.

To be eligible for the IAF refugee loan program, you must:

(click on each point to learn more)

Be a convention refugee/protected person

You must be able to provide an official document from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or the courts confirming your Refugee status.

We are not able to offer a loan if you are a refugee claimant or if your documents are still in process and a decision has not been reached to accept your claim.

Have attained convention refugee/protected person status 3 years or less from the time of making an IAF application

If you became a Permanent Resident in Canada, you may still apply for the IAF Refugee Loan Program within three years from the time you have attained refugee status in Canada to the date of your application at IAF.

If your status has exceeded this three-year time frame, you may apply to our mainstream loan program for immigrants. Click here for more information.

Have trained/worked in another country in the field you wish to return to

You will be required to provide supporting documents concerning your training or education that has either been used in the immigration verification process or been assessed by a professional body here in Canada;

IAF loans can only be used to help you return to same or related work you had before you came to Canada. IAF loans cannot be used to help you start a career in a new field.

If you are already working in your field but underemployed (working at a level much lower than someone with your education or experience should be), you may be eligible for a loan.

Lack access to comparable financial resources

You may apply for an IAF loan if you are unable to borrow from the bank or if the interest rates and loan terms are not comparable to what you would receive from IAF.

Be living in a province or territory other than Quebec.

Unfortunately we are not able to accept applications from residents of Quebec at this time.

Not have an undischarged bankruptcy

If you have filed for bankruptcy in Canada, your bankruptcy ends when it is discharged. This means that you are released from your legal obligation to repay the debts covered by your bankruptcy. We cannot consider your application if your bankruptcy is still active.


To be ready to support your loan application, you must:

  • Have a plan that sets out what you will do to be able to work in your field
  • Know the steps you will follow to find employment in your field
  • Have English or French skills that enable you to complete your learning plan
  • Provide information about any program you wish to take
  • Have a reasonable chance of obtaining employment in your field
  • Be committed to paying back the loan
  • Complete an application and satisfy all requirements of the Loan Review Team
  • Demonstrate good character

Use of Loans

You can borrow up to $10,000 to cover the following costs:

  • Short-term (two years or less) training
  • Exam fees with a professional governing association
  • Travel expenses to write an exam or to take a course not available locally
  • Qualification assessments
  • Professional association fees
  • Books and course materials
  • English or French language courses specific to employment
  • Living allowance during study time
  • Other related expenses

IAF loans can only be used to help you return to the same or related work you had before you came to Canada. IAF loans cannot be used to help you start a career in a new field.

To learn about the information or documents we need from you to assess your application, please click here.