Immigration Legal Assistant Certificate (Live Online and In-Class)

  • Format:

    Live Online

  • Duration:

    240 hours

  • Application fee:

    $200 (Domestic)
    $300 (International)

  • Tuition Fee:

    $4,300 (Domestic)
    $5,600 (International)

This program is currently under review and is expected to increase the number of instructional hours from 240 to 320. It is anticipated that the new program will be introduced in Spring 2022.

Start Date

Live Online live-logo

Full Time: November 22, 2021 – February 18, 2022


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Full Time: February 07, 2022 – April 30, 2022

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Program Overview

Immigration Legal Assistants help Immigration Practitioners execute their duties and expedite cases by handling documentation, communications and other responsibilities. Working with potential Canadian immigrants provides a fulfilling career with many opportunities for advancement.

The ILAC program serves as an excellent introduction for those who are new to the field. The program develops your knowledge and understanding of the Canadian Immigration system, policies and procedures. Individuals who are foreign-trained lawyers or who have legal experience outside of Canada can use this program to gain employment in the Canadian Immigration Law sector. Current Legal Assistants and Paralegals can also use this program to advance their careers with a specialization in Immigration.

Immigration is a growing sector in Canada with ever-increasing opportunities for professionals looking to enter the field. Graduates will be able to pursue jobs in immigration consulting firms, immigration law offices, government offices, recruitment agencies, and immigration settlement organizations, or they can continue their studies in the immigration and legal fields.

Please note that this program DOES NOT qualify graduates to practice as Regulated immigration Consultants or Lawyers.

Immigration Legal Assistant Job Roles

Immigration legal assistants are heavily involved in the administrative aspects of an immigration law practice. This program teaches students how to perform all the duties of an immigration legal assistant, which include:

  • Communicating with clients
  • Preparing immigration forms, applications, and documents
  • Completing data entry
  • Drafting legal submissions
  • Communicating with immigration and government officials
  • Obtaining client records
  • Coordinating paperwork
  • Conducting case law research relating to immigration

Career Advancement Opportunities

Newcomers to immigration law will be able to enter the field immediately after graduating and start gaining experience working in immigration consulting firms, immigration law offices, corporate offices, recruitment agency offices and government offices, where they will assist and work under the supervision of a licenced immigration practitioner or as part of a legal team.

According to Canada’s 2020 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, the Canadian government aims to welcome over 400,000 permanent residents in 2021 alone. The number of applications will far exceed that target, meaning the number of opportunities for immigration legal assistants will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

Program Goals

  • To help students develop knowledge of the policies and procedures of Canadian Immigration Law
  • To improve students’ business communication skills through a productive and collaborative learning environment
  • To equip students with the skills, attitudes and understanding of ethics that are needed for effective professional practice in the field of immigration

Learning Outcomes of the Program

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Understand the various decision-makers involved in the implementation of the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations and the Canadian Citizenship Act and Regulations
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the practical requirements for submissions of applications concerning guides, document checklists, application forms, and supporting documentation
  • Apply the knowledge and skills required to assist a professional, effective and efficient immigration practice
  • Exercise the rules of professional conduct
  • Demonstrate the attitudes, values and ethical standards required to assist with services in an immigration consultant office or law firm
  • Communicate effectively with clients and individuals

ILAC Program Format

The ILAC is delivered live online, allowing students to participate in classes from anywhere in the world with a stable internet connection.

Course Descriptions

ILAC 01: Legal Office Procedures and Business Communications (20 hours)

This course provides information about working in a legal office. It will require students to understand their role concerning ethics and liability, as well as retainer/consultation agreements.

ILAC 02: File Management and Accounts (20 hours)

This course will cover client file management and client accounts and their responsibilities.

ILAC 03: Legal Research, Correspondence and Documents (20 hours)

This course helps students develop research skills and an understanding of these skills within the context of immigration law. Students will gain access to a variety of relevant websites to generate a Submission Letter and make Access To Information requests.

ILAC 04: Basic Immigration Principles and Temporary Residents (60 hours)

This course will provide an overview of various decision-makers in the immigration industry. It will deal with the general requirements of a temporary application, including different submission forms (online, via email, and paper), guides, document checklists, application forms, and fees. The course will also give an overview of supporting documentation that deals specifically with temporary resident visas, visitor records, study permits, work permits (both online and through Visa Access Centres), extensions of status and visa issuance within Canada (Case Processing Centres and International Mobility Centres). The course will also cover Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) through Service Canada Centres and Employer Compliance requirements.

ILAC 05: Permanent Residents and Citizenship (60 hours)

This course will provide an overview of various decision-makers in the industry. It will deal with the general requirements of a Permanent Residency application or Canadian Citizenship application (for both online and paper-based submission), document checklists, application forms, fees, and supporting documentation that deals specifically with all Economic and Family class categories and grants of Canadian citizenship. Students will also cover the basics of Provincial Nominee applications.

ILAC 06: Refugees and Inadmissibility Law (60 hours)

This course will provide an overview of the various decision-makers involved in refugee determination and inadmissible cases, including guides, document checklists, application forms, fees, and supporting documentation. Students will also cover applications for Criminal Rehabilitation, Temporary Resident Permits, and Authority to Return to Canada.

Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

All Applicants, unless seeking Mature Student status, must provide proof and satisfy the following criteria:

  • Successful completion of a high school diploma or Adult Graduation Diploma; AND Are or will reach the age of nineteen (19) years on or before the start of the Program; or If less than nineteen (19) years of age on or before the start of the desired Program, have parental or guardian consent.
  • To qualify as a Mature Student, an Applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
    • Be 21 years of age or older; AND
    • Have not completed a high school diploma or an Adult Graduation Diploma; or
    • Have not attended high school for at least four (4) years; and/or
    • Have not received recognition for prior post-secondary education and training.

Applicants who qualify as Mature Students may be admitted to a Program at the discretion of the Registrar. In lieu of graduation documentation, the Registrar may require Applicants to provide any or all of the following:

  • Transcripts of completed education (secondary school or coursework at other post-secondary institutions);
  • Professional reference(s) from current or former employer(s);
  • Statement of intent clearly outlining the Applicant’s career goals and reasons for believing they will succeed in the desired Program;
  • Personal profile; and/or
  • Other forms of documentation that would aid in an Applicant’s candidacy.

Mature Students must meet all program-specific and non-academic requirements and, if deemed necessary, may be required to complete a pre-admission placement examination to determine academic readiness.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

Applicants must meet the College’s English Language Proficiency Requirements in ONE of the following ways:

  • Achieving a grade of 70% or higher in Canadian provincial/territorial English 12 or English Literature 12, or an equivalent examination; or
  • Immediately prior to applying to the College, completing two or more consecutive years of full-time post-secondary education in English within Canada or a country listed below; or achieving the competency standard of one of the Tests of English Language Proficiency
Two years of completed post-secondary study in English are accepted from the following Countries:

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Acceptable English Language Proficiency Tests and Scores:
  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE): A minimum score of 58.
  • The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): A minimum score of 60
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP): Academic Level of 4L and a CELPIP-General Level 7 in all components
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB): A minimum score of 7
  • International English Language Testing (IELTS): Academic level with a minimum overall score of 6.0
  • International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP): Academic Level 3
  • Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MELAB): A minimum score of 76
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
    • Internet-based test: Academic Level with a minimum score of 79-80 (19-20 on each band); or
    • Paper-based test: 550 score; 23 on each for Reading, Writing, and Listening
  • Duolingo: 110 (Temporary until December 2021)

Additional requirements

Applicants should have previous experience with MS office


Live Online

Full Time:

  • November 22, 2021 – February 18, 2022
    • Webinars will be held Monday to Friday from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm PST
    • Seminars and laboratory times are decided at the start of the cohort


Full Time:

  • February 07, 2022 – April 30, 2022
    • Sessions will be held Monday to Friday from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm PST
    • Seminars and laboratory times are decided at the start of the cohort


Tuition fees for this program are due and payable 2 weeks prior to the cohort start date. Students with guaranteed funding arrangements will be exempt from this requirement provided they produce proof of funding before the cohort start date.

All formats of the program are eligible for Canada Student Loans, other forms of government funding, and bank financing. However, students are responsible for making their own funding arrangements and are advised to contact the relevant funder well in advance of the start date to make an application.

Application and tuition fees for this program are as follows:

  • Application fee: $200 (Domestic Students) or $300 (International Students)
  • Tuition fee (Domestic): $4,300
  • Tuition fee (International): $5,600

Note: Tuition fees do not include the cost of required textbooks. Approximate textbook fees are $250.

Technical Requirements

Live Online Students

Ashton College uses web conferencing tools to help instructors and students connect and collaborate live online. For the online classes, students need to have a fully functional computer system with a webcam, speakers and microphone or headset and headphones, along with a reliable high-speed internet connection. Though the classes can be accessed using smartphones and tablets, we recommend using a laptop or desktop computer for a better learning experience.

This program was reviewed and approved by the Registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

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