Immigration / refugee

Questions & Answers

Last updated: February 26, 2016


Q. Do you have a hearing with the Refugee Protection Division (of the Immigration Refugee Board)?

If you have a low income and you require assistance at the Immigration and Refugee Board, Legal Aid Ontario may be able to provide legal help.

For more information, call Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1-800-668-8258.

Q. Do you have a detention review?

Legal Aid Ontario provides legal services to refugees held in detention, mainly through the Refugee Law Office.

If you have a low income and you require assistance at your review with the Immigration Refugee Board, Legal Aid Ontario may be able to provide legal help.

Call Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

Q. Do you have an examination or admissibility hearing, (formerly known as an inquiry)?

Legal Aid Ontario does not provide legal representation (a lawyer) at the admissibility hearing or inquiry for permanent residents convicted of criminal offences.

If you have a right to appeal, you may be able to get assistance at your appeal hearing. Call Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

Q. Do you want to appeal your deportation order?

Financially eligible permanent residents and convention refugees can get legal aid for appealing a deportation order in some cases. Call Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

Please note: If your deportation order is because you have been convicted of a crime, you can only appeal if the conviction carries a term of imprisonment of less than two years.

Q. Do you want to make a submission to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds?

Legal Aid Ontario does not usually provide assistance for this type of claim.

Legal help is available in very rare cases, for example if:

  • you are experiencing domestic violence or abuse
  • you have no remaining family in your home country, and you have family members with status in Canada;
  • medical treatment for a life threatening condition is not available in your home country;
  • a parent who has been ordered deported has Canadian-born children, who have a substantial connection to Canada.

However, legal help is not available if you fear risk or imminent harm in your home country.

Some community legal clinics and Student Legal Aid Service Societies (SLASS) also do this type of work. Contact a clinic or SLASS in your area to see if they can help.

Please note: Legal Aid Ontario does not cover the Citizenship and Immigration filing fees for these types of cases.

Q. Does LAO cover costs associated with Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds?

LAO does not cover the application fees required when making applications under Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds. Those in receipt of a certificate must pay the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada filing fees ($550 per adult and $150 per child) from their own private funds.

Q. Do you want to make a sponsorship appeal?

Legal Aid Ontario provides coverage where there is merit for sponsorship appeals to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD).

Call Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

Q. Do you have a judicial review?

In some cases, help is available for judicial review applications of negative Refugee Protection Division (RPD) decisions, failed humanitarian and compassionate claims, negative pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) decisions and decisions by the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) to dismiss appeals of sponsorship denials and deportation orders. All applications for judicial review are assessed for merit.

Call Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

Q. Does LAO cover Syrian refugee claims?

Yes. LAO will provide your lawyer with 10 hours to prepare your Basis of Claim form and to prepare and submit any additional documents related to your Syrian claim. For more information, please contact the Client Lawyer Service Centre at 1-800-668-8258 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.