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To celebrate Access to Justice Week, each day of the week Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan (PBLS) is sharing stories from our volunteers. All the volunteers featured this week are in-house counsel or work for the government. PBLS volunteers directly support low-income people in Saskatchewan who would otherwise not be able to access a lawyer.
Sonne Udemgba, Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan
In the Regina Free Legal Clinic, I advised a client on the options available to his spouse in order to obtain a work permit as well as permanent residency in Canada through the spousal sponsorship class. This client, a naturalized Canadian citizen had health issues and has been bedridden for a while. His spouse who lives in another country was in Canada on a visit. The client was very anxious because the temporary resident status of his spouse was to expire soon. The client wanted his spouse to live with him in Canada on a permanent basis, but he was unsure of the process. His health situation added to his anxiety. I explained the process and the options available to the client’s spouse to obtain a Canadian work permit. I also explained the process for spousal sponsorship for permanent residency in Canada. After giving all the advice I could, I informed the client that he could book another appointment if he needed help in completing the forms/accompanying submissions.
The client was very happy and thanked me for taking the time to explain the process to him. He indicated that his anxiety vanished after our discussions. I am happy the Clinic was able to advise this individual about a roadmap through which his spouse can work and live in Canada on a permanent basis. This example re-emphasizes the value pro bono work adds to our community and how lawyers can help people navigate the system.
Sonne Udemgba volunteers at the Regina Free Legal Clinic and on the Immigration & Refugees Panel.
Interested in volunteering? The Saskatchewan Lawyers’ Insurance Association (SLIA) provides coverage for volunteering with PBLS, even if you are exempt from paying. Learn more about pro bono and insurance coverage here. Learn more about PBLS by visiting pblsask.ca, email email@example.com or follow us here.