For refugee and immigration lawyers

Clinic services

Refugee claimants who do not have counsel and apply for legal aid to support their Refugee Protection Division (RDP) matter can choose to receive services from three LAO-supported clinics, LAO staff or the private bar.

This page describes the services available to them from clinics.

Ottawa: La Clinique juridique francophone de l'Est d'Ottawa

This clinic prepares Basis of Claim (BOC) forms and files them with the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). It also prepares for and represents claimants at hearings of the RPD until claimants receive a decision.

In addition to services for refugee claimants, the clinic offers support for housing, income maintenance and immigration matters. It is located in East Ottawas Vanier Community Services Centre. The centre is a hub for the regions French-speaking community, offering settlement services, counseling and employment services for newcomers.

Toronto: Centre Francophone de Toronto (CFT)

The CFT prepares BOC forms and files them with the RPD of the IRB. It also prepares for and represents claimants at hearings of the RPD until claimants receive a decision.

A hub for French-language services in the Toronto area, the CFT offers its clients many services related to their physical and mental health, employment, settlement, and culture. In addition to core legal aid services to local French-speaking people, it serves francophone refugee claimants from Africa and Haiti. Their expertise and knowledge of the communities unique needs enables effective representation at the IRB.

The CFTs comprehensive and holistic approach enables its CFTs legal staff to integrate other services with those related to the RFD. They provide refugees who are not yet eligible for the Interim Federal Health program (the federal governments temporary health insurance for refugee claimants) with quick access to a doctor or to a mental health therapist. They make medical letters and psychological reports readily available to refugee claimants at no cost.

Because services are in clients first language, the clinic can incur minimal interpretation and translation costs.

Toronto: Rexdale Community Legal Clinic

This clinic, part of the Rexdale Community Hub, provides supervised licensed paralegal services for refugee claimants (primarily from Nigeria, Somalia and Pakistan) living within its catchment area the M9W, M9V, M9R, and M9P postal code areas.

These services include preparing BOC forms and filing them with the RPD of the IRB. The clinic also prepares for and represents claimants at hearings of the RPD until claimants receive a decision.

The Rexdale hub also provides health, social, legal, employment and cultural services.