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Refugee Service

Who we are

The Refugee Service is a state-wide specialist service of Legal Aid NSW. We help newly arrived refugees learn about their rights and responsibilities under the law, and access legal services to prevent their legal problems from escalating.

Who we help

We assist newly arrived refugees being settled in NSW.

We assist clients who:

  • are on a Refugee or Humanitarian Visa (I.e. 200, 201, 202, 203, 204 and 866 visas),
  • have arrived in Australia within the last six years, and
  • have not previously seen a lawyer regarding their issue.

Our lawyers assist refugee clients and communities with problems like:

  • Immigration
  • Housing
  • Centrelink
  • Fines, bills and debts
  • Consumer problems with goods, services or contracts
  • Discrimination or harassment
  • Car accidents
  • Employment
  • Wills and estates (we cannot draft wills)
  • Domestic and family violence
  • Divorce
  • Separation and arrangements for children
  • Problems with Family and Community Services

How we can help

Advice and minor assistance

We provide free legal advice, and where possible minor assistance, to refugee clients involved in legal issues. Advice clinics are face-to-face. An advice session generally runs for 45 minutes. We can  arrange for an interpreter if you need one.


We can represent you in tribunals or courts. We also assist with complaints to the Ombudsman and negotiating other legal disputes.

You will need to meet our means, merit and policy guidelines to get a grant of Legal Aid. Our means test looks at how much money you have and how much you own (such as money in the bank). Our merit test looks at whether your case is likely to succeed. Sometimes we may need to refer you to another lawyer if a lawyer employed by Legal Aid NSW is not able to assist you because of conflict of interest.

Community Legal Education

We can provide face to face presentations and information sessions, workshops and attend community events across NSW. Request a CLE session by submitting a CLE request form.


The Refugee Service is based at the Bankstown Legal Aid Office. However the team provides an outreach service to a variety of locations (such as Migrant Resource Centres) across South West and Western Sydney.

You can meet with our lawyers at:

  • Auburn
  • Bankstown
  • Blacktown
  • Fairfield
  • Liverpool

Contact us

Contact us if you would like to meet with a lawyer at any of our outreach locations or if you would like to request a community legal education session for your community group.

We are available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Our office is closed on weekends and public holidays.