Getting a Legal Representative

It is a very good idea to have a legal representative who can help you throughout the refugee claim process. Immigration and refugee law is very complex, and gathering appropriate evidence is difficult. A legal representative can help you to put forward the strongest case possible and guide you through the different steps of the process.

When should I get a legal representative?

Try to get a legal representative before starting your refugee claim. If you have already made your claim and do not have a legal representative, make every effort to contact one. We strongly advise that you have a legal representative at your hearing.

Who can represent me?

There are different kinds of legal representatives who can represent you for your refugee claim:

  • Lawyer
  • Immigration consultant
  • Notary public (only in Quebec)
  • Licensed paralegal (only in Ontario).
Law Societies

It is important to work with a legal representative that you trust so that you can ensure they are guiding you correctly and giving good advice. One way to do this is to check that they are a certified member of their professional organization. 

Here is the link to the law society in your province:

Law Society of Alberta 

Law Society British Columbia

Law Society of Manitoba

Law Society of New Brunswick

Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador

Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society

Law Society of Ontario

Law Society of Prince Edward Island

Barreau du Quebec

Law Society of Saskatchewan

Representative without a fee

Someone you trust who is not a legal representative may assist you with your refugee claim if they do not charge any fee. This person is known as a “representative without a fee”. This person is usually a family member or friend who you know and trust. Using a representative without a fee should be done only as a last resort as it is extremely important to be represented by a qualified legal representative in your refugee claim.

How do I get a legal representative?

  • Some lawyers are provided for free or at a low-cost through Legal Aid or non-profit legal clinics
  • Ask your settlement worker, or someone from a settlement agency that is supporting you, if they have a list of  legal representatives
  • If you are looking for a legal representative, read reviews about them.  You can also speak to a few different legal representatives to find out more about how they work so you can assess your level of comfort with them.