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Know About Legal Aid Ontario For Immigration Matters

Last Updated On 18 April 2023, 9:29 AM EDT (Toronto Time)

Legal Aid Ontario is a publicly funded non-profit organization that offers financial legal assistance in the province of Ontario.

If you are a refugee claimant or an immigrant who is eligible for legal aid services, then they pay for the fee of lawyer to represent you.

Furthermore, you can also choose to have a private bar or in house lawyer of Legal Aid Ontario to represent you, if you do not have a lawyer.

LAO can pay for your representation at a detention review, immigration appeals, and applications under Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&C) grounds.

However, LAO does assist people in obtaining permanent residency (except H&C), sponsorship applications, renew TRP or temporary visas, or Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

Furthermore, they do not cover any processing or filing fee of IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada).

Apart from immigration services, LAO also help eligible people in criminal legal issues, family legal issues, domestic violence, mental health legal issues, and legal clinics.

Below is the table of annual income that you can check to see if you qualify for Legal Aid Ontario.

If your income qualifies to receive assistance in a legal matter, then you can use this Find a Lawyer tool of LAO, to search a lawyer accepting legal aid work.

Number of family membersThe amount of money your family earns
in a year (for most family law cases)
For domestic abuse cases

Eligible individuals or families can apply legal aid online, on phone, or in person. You will need documents related to your case as well as proof of your income.

Proof of income includes any recent social assistance cheque stubs, pay stubs, or employment insurance statements.

To apply by phone, you can call LAO from Monday to Friday, between 8 am to 5 pm EST. For Greater Toronto Area, you can call at 416-979-1446.

Moreover, you can also call at 1-800-668-8258 which is LAO’s toll-free number.

Qualifying persons can also apply online using Legal Aid Ontario Client Portal, but online application is only available for people who DO NOT own any property and either;

Legal Aid Ontario

Lastly, in-person legal aid is available from:

Below are links to legal aids available in other Canadian provinces.

Who is eligible for Legal Aid Ontario?

Three factors determine a person’s financial eligibility: the family unit, the family unit’s income, and the family unit’s assets.

Legal aid is not available, if the person being tested has assets or income that are over the exemption threshold.

What immigration and refugee services are eligible for Legal Aid Ontario?

Lawyer fee for immigration appeals, detention reviews, and applications made on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds is eligible for legal aid.

However, LAO does help persons with sponsorship applications, TRP or temporary visa renewals, permanent residency (apart from H&C), and Ontario Health Insurance Plan applications.


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