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: October 12, 2021 As part of our response to the COVID-19 emergency, all of our office locations, including those in courthouses, are closed until further notice. We continue to provide legal aid services via telephone only. We have extended our hours of service from…
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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…