Information for lawyers

Interim refugee law services

Certificate services

Basis of claim form preparation. Legal aid certificate coverage is only available for basis of claim preparation. Until further notice, refugee hearing coverage will not be authorized on basis of claim certificates issued after April 15, 2019.

No certificates for other refugee and immigration services are available.

Staff services

The refugee law offices in Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa provide assistance with the following for clients who financially qualify.

Note: The refugee law offices have limited capacity and as a result, not all clients will be able to receive assistance. Clients will be triaged based on needs, the strength of the legal case, and the available resources of the office.

  1. Refugee appeal division matters for clients who have received a negative refugee claim decision and require assistance with an appeal.

  1. Judicial review matters for clients who require assistance at the Federal Court.

  1. Help for particularly vulnerable clients who meet one or more of the following criteria. Staff will assess the needs of each client, case by case.

    Criteria

    • Unaccompanied minors (under the age of 18 and no parent or legal guardian in Canada)
    • Persons in detention
    • Persons with mental health conditions, addiction issues, or cognitive impairments
    • Persons with severe vulnerabilities stemming from a history of sexual or gender based violence
    • Persons at imminent threat of deportation to a place where they would face a risk falling under section 96/97 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or section 7 of the Charter
    • Situations where immigration matters directly impact the immediate health, safety and well‑being of children

    Possible services

    • detention reviews
    • motions for a stay of removal
    • refugee hearings
    • danger opinions
    • pre-removal risk assessment applications
    • deportation order appeals
    • humanitarian and compassionate grounds applications (in exceptional cases only)

Where to refer clients

Clients who are not detained can visit or contact the offices directly.

  • GTA or anywhere in Ontario not served by Hamilton or Ottawa
    Toronto Refugee Law Office (RLO)
    20 Dundas Street West, Suite 201
    Toronto, M5G 2C2

    Telephone: 416‑977‑8111
    Toll‑free: 1‑855‑854‑8111

    Walk-in intake hours: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Monday to Friday.

  • Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Niagara Region, London, Windsor
    Hamilton Refugee Law Office (RLO)
    110 King Street West, Suite 780
    Hamilton, L8P 4S6

    Telephone: 905‑528‑0134
    Toll-free: 1‑877‑449‑4003, ext. 23 or 33

    Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Walk in or call in advance for an appointment.

  • Ottawa, Kingston and Eastern Ontario
    Ottawa Integrated Legal Services Office (ILSO)
    275 Slater Street, Suite 1101
    Ottawa K1P 5H9

    Telephone: 613‑569‑7448
    Toll-free: 1‑800‑348‑0006

    Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Walk in or call in advance for an appointment.

If your client has been detained, refer to them to the appropriate office as outlined below.

Detention centre Responsible staff office Instructions to give to clients
Immigration Holding Centre (Toronto) Toronto RLO Clients should ask to see Nasrin Azar in the "TRAC / NGO" office at the Immigration Holding Centre
Vanier Centre for Women (Milton) Toronto RLO Clients should speak with a social worker at Vanier about a referral to the Toronto RLO or call the Toronto RLO collect
Central East Correctional Centre (Lindsay) Toronto RLO Clients should call the Toronto RLO collect
Toronto South Detention Centre / Toronto East Detention Centre Toronto RLO Clients should call the Toronto RLO collect
Maplehurst Correctional Complex (Milton) Hamilton RLO Clients should call the Hamilton RLO collect
Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre Hamilton RLO Clients should call the Hamilton RLO collect
Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre Ottawa ILSO Clients should call the Ottawa ILSO collect
St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre Ottawa ILSO Clients should call the Ottawa ILSO collect
All federal institutions in Kingston area Ottawa ILSO Clients should call the Ottawa ILSO collect
Any other detention centre in Ontario Contact the nearest staff office Clients should call the nearest staff office collect
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