Information for lawyers

Refugee and immigration services

Information for Lawyers

Basis of Claim (BOC)


Clients should call the Client Service Centre at 1-800-668-8258 to determine eligibility for legal aid services.


Country list and streams


LAO has revised its application process for refugees to include a country list and “streams” in order to accommodate the new shortened refugee claim timelines and expedite decision-making on applications for legal aid services.


Country list

Refugee clients who contact LAO are asked for the source country of their claim and for information about their financial circumstances. This information helps LAO identify them as claimants from countries in one of two newly developed streams – Stream 1 or Stream 2. This categorization provides lawyers and clients with more information about the authorization process.


Stream 1 claimant

LAO issues a five-hour BOC authorization. If certain criteria (eg. gender, sexual orientation) are not met or complexities such as dual citizenship are identified, the claim is routed to Stream 2.


Stream 2 claimant

LAO refers the applicant to a telephone summary advice queue, so a qualified LAO intake officer can more fully assess the merit of the claim. Many claimants who are referred to the telephone summary advice queue receive a five-hour BOC authorization, but some do not. All claims are merit assessed.