Legal Information Sources for Refugees

June 20th marked World Refugee Day, a day designated by the UN to honour refugees around the globe. We wanted to take the occasion to highlight some legal information resources for newcomers to BC.  


General legal information:  

If you’re looking for an overview of the refugee system in Canada, check out the following resources:  

Remember, Clicklaw is always a great place to start with your online searching. It has a number of resources available for immigrants and refugees, including Common Questions for quick starting points and the HelpMap to find local and province-wide legal help services. 

Procedural information:  

Clicklaw Common Questions provide basic information and links to helpful resources to get people started with their legal research. The following Common Questions would be helpful to those looking to start refugee claims but uncertain where to start:   

The LSLAP Manual, a Clicklaw Wikibook, also has a chapter on Immigration which includes a variety of information on the refugee process. This Wikibook is available online, with chapters available for download and print. LawMatters also recently sent out print copies of the LSLAP Manual to public libraries around province: make sure to check your catalogue for a copy!  

Refugee Hearing Preparation:  

Refugee Hearing Preparation: A Guide for Refugee Claimants 

This guide, created by Kinbrace Community Society, aims to educate, guide, and support those preparing for refugee hearings. It provides important definitions, timelines for the process, hearing checklists, answers to commonly asked questions, and strategies people can use to prepare for the hearing. The guide is available in a number of languages and pages can be easily printed for those who prefer print  

For those wanting an orientation to the hearing, READY Tours are free, virtual tours available in certain locations around the country. These tours give refugee claimants and service providers the opportunity to learn more about the hearing process and have a chance to ask questions. The tours are conducted by a staff member of the Refugee Board of Canada. See the website for more information, including tour registration! 


Where to get help: 

Settlement services: 

ISSofBC is one the largest immigrant-serving agencies in Canada and aims to meet the settlement, language, and employment needs of newcomers. Find out more about their services on their website.

The government of Canada website also has a handy list of service providers who participate in the Resettlement Assistance Program, which provides immediate and essential supports to government-assisted refugees. 

  • Watch a quick video to learn more about the resettlement process and services available to refugees. The video is available in multiple languages and an English transcript is also available. 

Legal Help:  

Legal Aid BC provides legal help for those dealing with immigration and refugee legal issues. Services are provided specifically to those who are facing an immigration proceeding that may result in deportation or those wishing to claim refugee status. Upon qualification, a lawyer can help you fill out forms, prepare for the refugee claim hearing, and represent you at the hearing.  

Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic provides legal advice and information to people across BC, with a focus on assisting people whose immigration and refugee issues are not covered by Legal Aid.