Where can I get legal advice and help with my refugee claim?

Ask for an interpreter to come to your meeting

If English or French is not your first language, you have the right to use an interpreter. Even if you're comfortable speaking English or French, it's a good idea to ask for an interpreter when you meet with your legal representative.

You need to understand exactly what is being said and asked, and you must be able to provide detailed descriptions and explanations. If you provide information that is different from information in your immigration file or information that is not true because of a misunderstanding, it can have a negative impact on your claim.

The Refugee Board provides interpreters at no cost. On your Basis of Claim (BOC) form, you must choose the language you want to use for your hearing.

If you're approved for a , LAO will pay to hire an interpreter for up to a certain number of hours to help you with your Basis of Claim Form (BOC).

If you're paying your legal representative privately, you will also need to pay for the services of an interpreter yourself.

It's important to use a professional interpreter instead of a friend or family member. The Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario has a list of professional interpreters. The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic provides interpretation services to women who have experienced violence.

If you can't understand the interpreter or if you think they are not interpreting accurately, tell your legal representative as soon as possible. Don't wait until after the meeting to raise these concerns.

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