Services in Ontario - Sponsoring family members

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

Website

http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_immigration.asp

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY TTY (teletypewriter) – Use Bell’s Relay Service: 1 800 855 0511

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

During the COVID-19 situation, many community legal clinics are no longer meeting with people in person, but will provide services over the phone. Call ahead for more information.

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
  • some employment issues

Some clinics can help with immigration and refugee 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 or in person at their Ottawa office in any area of law in English or French. You may have to leave a message, and a lawyer will call you back.

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.

Ontario Paralegal Association

Website

https://www.opaonline.ca/

Contact Information

Phone 416-944-1020

The association has an online tool to help you find a licensed paralegal. You can search by name, area of law, and location.

JusticeNet

Website

http://www.justicenet.ca

Contact Information

Phone 416-479-0551 Toll-free 1-866-919-3219

JusticeNet helps people find a legal professional if their income is too high to get legal aid but too low to afford legal fees. If your net family income is less than $59,000, they refer you to an online directory of lawyers, paralegals, and mediators who provide help at reduced rates.

JusticeNet is a non-profit organization. You must register and pay a fee to use the website. They may return the fee if you don’t find a professional to work with.

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