It is very important that refugee claimants seek legal counsel as the process is complicated. Legal counsel can be found through legal aid offices when applicable or through other legal clinics and community resources. Many claimants will need to seek legal aid to cover the costs of being represented by a lawyer. Legal aid is a provincial jurisdiction. Claimants can apply for legal aid at the following organizations in BC:
The Law Foundation of British Columbia funds Legal Advocacy Programs across British Columbia for low-income immigrants, refugees and migrant workers. Below is a referral protocols document curated by ISSofBC with information about all programs and how to apply for or make referrals to the programs.
Note: The programs listed in this document can be accessed by refugee claimants once supports from legal aid programs are exhausted – with the exception of Ready Tours, which is specifically designed for Refugee Claimants.
Click here to access the document.
The Ready Tours offers refugee claimants the opportunity to gather information, familiarize themselves with the refugee hearing procedure and see inside a real hearing room. The tour takes place at the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) and is highly encouraged for individuals making a refugee claim. The tours are also open to those working with and supporting refugee claimants, including lawyers, immigration consultants, front line workers and community stakeholders. To register, phone 604-328-3132 or email [email protected]
The Legal Services Society of BC helps British Columbians resolve their legal problems through free information, advice, and representation services. LSS also offers a variety of free publications that fall under the topics of Family, Criminal, Immigration and Children. Below are those that relate most to refugees and refugee claimants:
Languages available: English, Dari, French, Kurdish, Pashto, and Spanish.
Legal help for refugee claim
Publications below are ones that are available in multiple languages. To get the full list of family law publications, click here.
To get the full list of family violence publications, click here.
Note: many of the above resources are available in multiple languages.
More publications about abuse & family violence, family law, welfare, and child protection are available at here.
All publications are free and there are no shipping costs. How to order: If you would like to order multiple copies (up to 25), please fill out the online customer account form. If you have questions about ordering, please contact [email protected] or call 604-601-6000.
Available in multiple languages
Only available in English