Law Society of Ontario issues notice around paralegals and legal services under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

The Law Society of Ontario logo superimposed on Old City Hall in Toronto. Photo: HR Law Canada
By Law Society of Ontario

Certain misinformation has proliferated on social media and among the paralegal community suggesting that paralegals can provide the full range of immigration services under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

Paralegals are only authorized to provide immigration legal services that relate directly to advocacy before the Immigration and Refugee Board. The permitted scope of practice does not include preparing applications to other administrative decision-makers, such as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or advising clients with respect to such applications.

Paralegals providing legal services beyond this scope are committing unauthorized legal practice and could face sanctions from the Law Society including a suspension or revocation of their licence. This does not apply to paralegals who are licensed as immigration consultants with the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants.

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  • Law Society of Ontario

    Created by an act of the Legislative Assembly in 1797, the Law Society of Ontario governs Ontario’s lawyers and paralegals in the public interest by ensuring that the people of Ontario are served by lawyers and paralegals who meet high standards of learning, competence and professional conduct.