Do I have to pay a lawyer to help me?
If you are living in Ontario and you do not make very much money, you can get a free lawyer to help you with your refugee claim and some other immigration applications. The government of Ontario will pay the lawyer.
What immigration processes can I get a get a free lawyer for?
Humanitarian and Compassionate application
Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA)
Refugee appeal or Judicial Review if you got a negative decision
Deportation from Canada
How do I get a free lawyer?
If you are receiving Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program or you have no income, you will probably qualify
After you finish applying for legal aid, you will get two numbers:
Client ID number (CLT)
Keep this number safe. This is how Legal Aid Ontario will know who you are.
Certificate number (CE)
You will give this number to a lawyer so they get paid by the government for helping you.
How much time can my lawyer spend working on my case and meeting with me?
Legal Aid Ontario only pays your lawyer for a limited number of hours!
They get paid for a maximum of 16 hours to work on your Basis of Claim form and to prepare for your hearing. It could be less if you do not end up having a hearing.
These 16 hours includes time spent meeting with you and the work that they do on your case when they are not meeting with you.
This is a very small number of hours that lawyers are paid for. Many lawyers spend more time than this working on refugee cases. If a lawyer spends extra hours working on your case, it means that they are not getting paid for those extra hours.