Services in Ontario - Keeping your permanent resident status

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Refugee law services

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/services-for-refugee-claimants/

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 711

Due to funding cuts in April 2019, LAO is taking steps to reduce its immigration and refugee work.

LAO does help people with some refugee problems. For example, you might be able to get help to prepare a Basis of Claim form.

Law Society of Ontario – Lawyer and Paralegal Directory

The directory lists all lawyers and paralegals licensed to give legal services in Ontario. You can search by name, address or postal code, language, and area of law. You can also search for services offered in French and for unbundled services.

JusticeNet

JusticeNet is a not-for-profit organization that can help people find legal services when their income is too high for legal aid and too low to afford legal fees. Their website has a list of lawyers, paralegals, and mediators who charge reduced fees based on your income and the size of your family. You must register and pay a small fee to use their services.

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Refugee Law Offices

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/documents/refugee-law-office/

Contact Information

Phone 416-977-8111 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 711

LAO funds Refugee Law Offices to help people mainly living in Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa who want to make a refugee claim. They can represent refugee claimants who qualify for a legal aid certificate.

To qualify for legal aid, you must show that you have a low income by giving information about your income, property, and savings. And, your refugee law issue must be one that LAO covers.

They also offer other services, for example, representing people at detention reviews. RLO staff can also refer you to a lawyer who can represent you using a legal aid certificate, if you qualify.

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Immigration/refugee law services

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/immigration-services/

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 711

LAO helps people with low incomes with some immigration and refugee problems. For example, you might be able to get help:

  • if you’re detained for immigration reasons
  • to complete a Basis of Claim form
  • with your refugee hearing,
  • to prepare an appeal or application for judicial review,
  • with cessation or vacation hearings,
  • to prepare for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA)

To get help from LAO, you can:

  • call their free telephone line that lets you talk to a lawyer for up to 20 minutes to get information and general advice
  • apply for a legal aid certificate if you have a low income and if your legal issue is one that LAO covers
  • contact one of the Refugee Law staff offices in Hamilton, Ottawa, and Toronto

Legal clinics

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/services/legal-clinics/

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY 1-866-641-8867

Legal Aid Ontario funds legal clinics across Ontario. There are two types of legal clinics: community legal clinics and specialty legal clinics.

Community legal clinics provide free legal services to people with low incomes who live in their area. Most help with:

  • Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program
  • tenants’ rights
  • the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement
  • employment problems

Some clinics can help with immigration and refugee problems or debt and consumer problems.

Search for the clinic in your area using your postal code.

Some specialty legal clinics provide free legal services to specific groups of people with low incomes:

Some specialty legal clinics provide free legal services in only certain areas of law:

Francophone legal advice lines

LAO has 4 free regional advice lines that can give legal information and advice in French over the telephone to people living in:

  • Eastern Ontario
  • Northern Ontario, and parts of central Ontario including:
    • Barrie
    • Parry Sound
    • Muskoka and Kawartha Lakes regions
  • Greater Toronto Area
  • Southwestern Ontario

The advice lines do not help with family law or criminal law matters.

Law Society Referral Service

The Law Society of Ontario has on online Law Society Referral Service that gives you the name of a lawyer or licensed paralegal who will give free legal advice for up to 30 minutes in any area of law.

If you can’t wait for a legal representative to call you back, or if you don’t have a call-back number, email lsrs@lso.ca. Or, if you’re in crisis or in custody, call 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255, Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Ontario Legal Information Centre

Website

https://www.centreinfojuridique.ca/en/

Contact Information

Phone 613-842-7462 Toll-free 1-844-343-7462

The Ontario Legal Information Centre offers a free 30-minute meeting with a lawyer to anyone in Ontario by telephone in English or French. They can provide legal information in any legal topic, and referrals to services.  You have to leave a message and a lawyer will call you back.

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