Immigration advice relates to who can enter and remain in the UK, the types of visa, travel document or permits required, changing immigration status, and restrictions and rights relating to immigration status. Landlords and employers also need to be aware of how immigration law affects them and the potential of large fines and prosecution if they do not adhere to the law.
Immigration Advice is a very specialised and regulated area of law. Different agencies are limited to the level of advice they can give, and you should ensure that anyone providing immigration advice is registered, trained and insured to do so. Remember: Paying a lot of money does not always mean the advice will be good and no-one can guarantee your application will succeed, no matter what they say.
Please be aware that there can be strict time limits in relation to immigration appeals and applications. Bad advice and incorrect applications could result in the loss of all fees paid, and could potentially lead to a 10 year ban on further applications.
For more information on how to ensure you are getting the best advice click here.
http://asylumhelpuk.org/ - Also known as Migrant Help; this organisation offer help in making Asylum Support Applications. They also offer a free telephone advice service- It is free to call them from any UK mobile except Labara and another international card
http://opendoors-hull.org.uk/ - Somewhere to meet people also for destitute refused asylum seekers to get food parcels
http://www.eavesforwomen.org.uk/about-eaves/our-projects/the-poppy-project Support for trafficked women
If you have a Immigration issue there is information and details of advice providers available below.
General Immigration Advice Providers what's this?
Immigration Information Advice Providers what's this?
Important notes on immigration advice: Please remember the rules change a lot, so always get advice first
Immigration advice is regulated under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Under this Act the Office of Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) became responsible for regulating the provision of immigration advice. This made it a criminal offence to provide immigration advice and services unless appropriately registered.
The importance of obtaining immigration advice from an appropriately registered advice service cannot be stressed strongly enough. For example, if an application for citizenship is incorrectly completed there is a good chance the application will be rejected which will mean the application fee of £906 will be retained by Home Office. If Home Office decides that due to the mistake the application can be considered fraudulent then a ten year ban on further applications can be applied.
If you have a complaint about the standard of service you have been provided with or if you are aware someone is providing immigration advice without being appropriately registered you can submit a complaint by going to: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-an-immigration-adviser. Complaints forms are available in 13 different languages.
Legal Aid may be available for initial asylum applications if the client passes the destitution test. Any further applications or appeals will have to pass the 50% merits test (there needs to be a better than 50% chance of the appeal or application succeeding before qualifying for Legal Aid) . This causes lots of difficulties for people trying to get legal representation for their asylum cases. It is also difficult to obtain Legal Aid for an immigration application and some applications (such as Family Reunion for refugees) are no longer under Legal Aid. This can make it difficult for new refugees to reunite with their spouse and children.
Asylum Seekers waiting for a decision as to whether they can stay on the UK may be eligible for support from the Home Office. This can be somewhere to live and some money. Asylum seekers are not allowed to work unless they have been waiting for a decision for a long time. If they are granted permission to work it is only for jobs on the shortage occupation list. Refused asylum seekers have their accommodation and money withdrawn and are not allowed to work so become destitute. An employer can be given a £10,000 fine for employing someone who does not have the right to work in the UK.
Obtaining a positive asylum decision is the first hurdle to life in the UK. New refugees are given just 28 days before they are required to leave their temporary property. They then need to find somewhere to live and, until they find employment, apply for Job Seeker’s Allowance. Quite often their Home Office decision has been issued without them being sent a National Insurance Number. This causes massive delays in getting their benefits which leads to destitution. Asylum seekers have often arrived in the country with no more than the clothes on their back. Asylum support rates are much lower than normal benefit rates so when they obtain their decision they do not have any resources to fall back on. Friends and family have been left behind when they have fled persecution so new refugees often do not have any one they know who can help them through this difficult time. New refugees are often overwhelmed at trying to navigate the system especially if they do not speak much English. It is important to get good advice during this process so reduce the chance of mistakes and delays occurring.