Refugee and immigration legal issues
We may pay for a lawyer to represent you if you are a refugee claimant or an immigrant who qualifies for legal aid services. If you are eligible for legal aid but do not have a lawyer, you can choose to have either a private bar or LAO staff lawyer represent you.
If you are a refugee claimant and would like further information on how LAO may be able to help you, visit our Services for refugee claimants section.
For more information on how LAO may help with your immigration matter, visit our Immigration services section.
An LAO representative will help you in the language of your choice (through an interpreter if necessary).
What LAO does NOT do
LAO does not help people:
- obtain permanent resident status (except on humanitarian and compassionate grounds) or checking the status of applications with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
- prepare sponsorship applications
- renew temporary resident permits or student visas
- resolve problems in getting Ontario Health Insurance Plan coverage
The government charges application fees for some immigration matters
Even if you have a legal aid certificate, you still have to pay Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s application and filing fees for your immigration matters.
Last updated: May 20, 2022 A blend of remote and in-person services are now available as part of Legal Aid Ontario’s transition back to providing in-person services. Visitors must screen for COVID-19 symptoms before entering a legal aid office. Instructions are posted outside every legal aid location entrance. Our offices are equipped with Plexiglas barriers,…
These standards are in place to protect refugee clients and to better define their relationship with their lawyer. Rights & Responsibilities If you claimed at an airport, seaport, land or border crossing, you will get a copy of your Basis of Claim Form (BOC). You and your lawyer have only 15 days to complete your BOC and…
If you are financially eligible and your matter has merit, LAO may pay to: represent you at a detention review, where, if the government has detained you for immigration reasons, you challenge the government’s reasons for detaining you and argue for your release. Learn more about the detention review process. represent you at immigration appeals…