How do I apply for legal aid?
1. Overview of the legal aid process
*Please note that this is a general guide as to how the case is processed and is not intended to be an exhaustive description of the caseflow as the actual facts of each case will affect how it is dealt with.
**This is not applicable to applications under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
2. How do I register for Legal Aid?
If you require legal aid or advice, you can come to LAB during our office hours to make an application. Please bring along your Identity Card for the registration. Alternatively, you can make an online application at https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/eservices/labesvc/
If you are a minor (i.e. a person below 21 years of age), your parent or guardian must apply on your behalf.
3. I do not reside in Singapore. How can I register for legal aid for an application under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (HCCAICA) [with effect from 1 Mar 2011]?
You are required to complete Form 1 - Application for Legal Aid for matters relating to the HCCAICA and submit it to the Singapore Central Authority.
4. What happens during my first appointment?
During your first appointment, your means will be reassessed by our Commissioner for Oaths. You will be required to swear a Statutory Declaration on your income and capital, and you will have to furnish LAB with relevant information on your case.
A person who knowingly makes any false statement or representation to LAB shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment of up to six months or to both.
5. What documents do I bring to my first appointment?
Please bring your SingPass and the following documents on your first appointment to enable us to process your case expeditiously:
- Your identity card (IC)
- Valid Passport if you are a Permanent Resident (PR)
- Applicant's CPF Contribution History for the past 12 months
- Spouse's CPF Contribution History for the past 12 months
- Applicant's pay slip or letter from employer showing income for the past 12 months if he/she works but does not pay contribution to CPF
- Spouse's pay slip or letter from employer showing income for the past 12 months if he/she works but does not pay contribution to CPF
- Applicant's Latest Income Tax Assessment/ (IR8A form)
- Spouse's Latest Income Tax Assessment/ (IR8A form)
- Personal and Joint Updated Bank Books, Bank Statements, Fixed Deposits Receipts and any other Bank Investment Products Information
- Tenancy/Rental Agreement
- Applicant's Insurance Policies and their Surrender Values
- The Central Depository (CDP) Account Statement (if any)
- Original/Certified Copy of Marriage Certificate*
- Photocopy of Birth Certificate* (Children/Sibling/Parent)
- Motor Vehicles Log Book or Purchase Invoice
- For Letter of Administration and Probate case:
(i) Death Certificate/Certificate of Extract From Register of Deaths (for deceased)**
(ii) Inheritance Certificate (for Muslim)
- Police Report
- Medical Report
- Court Orders (eg: Divorce/Maintenance (MSS)/Personal Protection Order (PPO)/etc)
- All other documents which are relevant to your case.
* For civil marriages, the documents to be translated to English if it is in other languages.
** To translate the Death Certificate or extract to English if it is in other languages.
6. Will LAB represent me immediately after I have applied for aid or after I have attended the first appointment?
No. At the first appointment, LAB will start investigating your case to determine whether you pass the Means Test and the Merits Test. LAB will only represent you after your case has been fully investigated, you have passed the Means Test, and the Legal Aid Board determines that you have also passed the Merits Test.
7. How long do I have to wait from the first appointment to the decision of the Legal Aid Board?
This depends on the complexity of your case and the amount of time needed to investigate your case. In fairly simple cases, it will usually take about four months.