Where can I get legal advice and help with my refugee claim?
Question & AnswerWhere can I get legal advice and help with my refugee claim?
Refugee law is complicated. There are many steps to making a refugee claim. Completing forms, gathering , preparing for your hearing, and following all the different rules can be hard to do by yourself.
If you’re planning to make a refugee claim, or if you already made a refugee claim when you arrived in Canada, it’s important to get legal advice from someone who specializes in refugee law as soon as possible.
An “authorized representative” is someone who is paid to help you with your refugee claim. An authorized representative must be:
- a lawyer or paralegal who is licensed by the Law Society of Ontario, or
- an immigration consultant who is registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
Sometimes friends or family members might try to help you. But it’s important to get help from someone who is:
- trained and knows refugee law
- authorized to give you the legal help you need
- honest and trustworthy
At your hearing, you can choose to have someone represent you who is not a lawyer, paralegal, or immigration consultant but that person can’t charge you any fees.
When you make a refugee claim, don’t accept help from anyone who:
- tells you to lie or withhold information
- suggests that you use false documents
- asks you to sign a blank or incomplete Basis of Claim (BOC) form or any other form you’re required to complete
- doesn’t explain what they are doing, doesn’t answer your questions, or doesn’t provide you with copies of your documents and forms
- tells you that they will definitely get a positive result on your refugee claim or other application – no one is able to guarantee an outcome for your case