Information for lawyers
Refugee and immigration services
Basis of Claim (BOC)
Clients may be eligible for a five-hour authorization to complete a Basis of Claim (BOC). Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) subject matter experts will assess merit for BOC coverage.
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.
Clients should call the Client Service Centre at 1-800-668-8258 to determine eligibility for legal aid services.
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.