COVID-19: Update on temporary certificate authorizations for immigration matters

Published: February 22, 2022

This is a news posting. Please read “COVID-19: Several temporary emergency COVID measures set to end on November 18 – Legal Aid Ontario” for additional, up-to-date information.

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) implemented temporary certificate authorizations to assist lawyers representing immigration and refugee clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of the continuing public health measures that require remote hearings and remote client meetings, the following measures continue to be available:

  • Additional two hours for preparation of Basis of Claim forms
    • This authorization is added automatically to all new Basis of Claim form certificates
  • Additional two hours to prepare for refugee hearings

The following measures ended on Dec. 31, 2021:

  • Additional three hours for applications on humanitarian and compassionate grounds to cover the time spent by lawyers updating and sending information related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the client’s circumstances.
  • Additional three hours on refugee appeal certificates for lawyers to respond to requests from the Refugee Appeal Division from June 2020 to provide updated information, including how the COVID-19 pandemic affected client cases.
  • Coverage for refugee claimants applying for permanent residence through the Healthcare workers Permanent Residence Pathway program launched by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information: