For refugee and immigration lawyers

Private bar services

LAO has an active refugee panel of private bar lawyers who provide services to refugee claimants throughout the province. A list of lawyers can be accessed through the Client Service Centre or the District Office in your area.

Region Refugee Panel
GTA 494
NCE 78
SW 58

As of June 2013, LAO approved 630 lawyers as members of the refugee panel.

RPD certificates

Effective Feb. 3, 2014, clients may be eligible for:

  • a maximum of seven hours (up from the former limit of five hours) for BOC preparation and
  • a maximum of nine hours (down from the former limit of 11 hours) to amend BOC certificates for hearing preparation.

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) subject matter experts will assess merit for BOC coverage.

LAO redistributed the 16 RPD tariff hours available for refugee lawyers to more accurately reflect the allocation of time required for BOC and hearing preparation.

Certificates issued before February 2014 (and amendments based on those certificates) will continue to authorize five hours for BOC preparation and 11 hours for hearing preparation.

Disbursement allowances for RPD certificates will remain the same.


Concurrent refugee/immigration service coverage

LAO will fund, where there is merit, multiple refugee and/or immigration services at the same time, based on the recommendation of LAO staff experienced in refugee and immigration law.

  • How your clients can request concurrent coverage

    Clients can contact the Client Service Centre (CSC) to apply for legal aid coverage for two concurrent refugee and/or immigration services. LAO staff will base their decision on whether:

    • the failure to support both matters concurrently could deprive someone of a legal remedy for one matter
    • the failure to pursue two matters concurrently could result in the loss of someones legal right(s) due to lack of clarity in the law(s)
    • the chance of success in one matter significantly depends on concurrently pursuing another matter.
  • How you can request concurrent coverage

    Lawyers with a certificate for one refugee and/or immigration service who are seeking concurrent coverage for another, or who are seeking coverage for two services for the same client, can fax: