What other kinds of legal help can I get?

If you cannot or do not want to get legal help from a lawyer, you can also get legal help from a community legal worker, paralegal or immigration consultant.

These types of professionals generally charge lower fees than lawyers but not always. They may work with lawyers or have supervision by lawyers.

Usually, these professionals are experts in a certain area of law and have a limited scope of practice. This means they can only do certain kinds of work.

You may want to find a professional who speaks your first language.

Community Legal Worker

Community legal workers work with lawyers in community legal clinics. They can give you legal advice and represent you.

For more information, read How can a Community Legal Clinic help me?

Some communities have student legal clinics, where volunteer law students provide legal advice and represent clients. They are supervised by lawyers.


Paralegals are sometimes called court and tribunal agents. In Ontario, paralegals must be licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.

A paralegal can:

  • Give you legal advice about your court or tribunal case, and tell you about your rights and responsibilities related to that case
  • Prepare legal documents that you need for your case
  • Negotiate for you

A paralegal can represent you in different areas of the law. However, they cannot represent you in Family Court in Ontario.

Paralegals can help with Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) hearings and appeals.  They can also act as an authorized representative for you when you apply to immigrate to Canada. However, they cannot provide immigration advice unless they are regulated by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC)

Find a paralegal in your area.

Find out how to complain about a paralegal.

Immigration Consultant

An immigration consultant can help you with:

  • Immigration applications, such as sponsorship applications, refugee claims, and humanitarian and compassionate applications
  • Removal orders
  • Other cases that involve immigration law, processes or procedures

If you want a paid consultant to represent you to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the consultant must be in good standing with the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC).

For more information, read Should I get help with my immigration application from an immigration consultant or lawyer?

Find an immigration consultant in your area.

Find out how to complain about an immigration consultant.

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Last updated: December 13, 2022 4000358