Immigration

I need immigration advice

Unfortunately, Liberty is unable to provide legal advice on immigration law.

However, there are a number of organisations that provide free initial advice on immigration and asylum law.

Legal Aid

Depending on your financial situation and the strength of your case, you may qualify for legal aid for your case, meaning you could get free legal advice or help towards paying for it. Legal aid is available for:

  • asylum applications
  • applications for immigration bail
  • applications for leave to remain by victims of trafficking
  • leave to remain for victims of domestic violence
  • cases before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission
  • applications for asylum support (when housing and financial support is applied for).

An immigration solicitor will be able to advise you on whether you qualify for legal aid and the other payment options available. They will also be able to help you apply for legal aid if you do qualify. Use the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association directory or the Law Society’s find a solicitor tool to search for an immigration lawyer near you.

Organisations that can help you

Below is a list of organisations which can provide advice on immigration and asylum and related issues, organised by group or theme.

General immigration or asylum advice

Law Centres Network

Law Centres are not-for-profit and provide free legal advice and representation to local residents on a wide range of issues.  Many local Law Centres provide free immigration advice, although services vary from centre to centre.

  • Telephone (general enquiries no advice): 020 3637 1330
  • Email: info@lawcentres.org.uk or query form online
  • Web: www.lawcentres.org.uk  (Law Centre locator service)
  • Address: Law Centres Network, Floor 1, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA

Click on your nearest Law Centre to find out if they provide immigration advice and to find out their contact details and opening hours.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice Bureaus offer advice to local residents on a rage of practical and legal matters. Those offering immigration advice can help with the following:

  • General immigration queries
  • Visa applications, including advice on filling in forms
  • Home Office delays
  • Getting replacement immigration documents
  • Citizenship queries.

Some Citizens Advice Bureaus have a dedicated immigration specialist, and can assist with more complex cases. To find out if your local Citizens Advice Bureau provides immigration advice, you should contact them directly.

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI)

JCWI is an independent national charity, campaigning for justice and combating racism in immigration and asylum law and policy.  They provide free immigration advice to undocumented migrants on all immigration, asylum and nationality law matters.

  • Telephone: 020 7251 8708
  • Advice line: 020 7553 7470 (between 10.00am and 1.00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays).
  • Email: info@jcwi.org.uk
  • Web: http://www.jcwi.org.uk/
  • Address: 115 Old Street, London EC1V 9RT

Hackney Migrant Centre

Hackney Migrant Centre is a charity providing advice and assistance to migrants on immigration, welfare and health issues.

They hold a free weekly drop-in advice surgery every Wednesday where people can access advice on their immigration status, as well as issues relating to homelessness and destitution.

Please note that only 20 people are seen per week at the drop-in on a first come, first served basis. Registration opens at 8.30am.

Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre

Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre provide holistic legal and practical support to assist and empower refugees and migrants and assist them to rebuild their lives.

They offer a free one-off advice on immigration and asylum law matters at a weekly drop-in, held every Wednesday from 11.00am to 1.30pm.

  • Telephone: 02476 227 254
  • Email: legalteam@covrefugee.org
  • Web: https://www.covrefugee.org/
  • Address: Norton House, Bird Street, Coventry CV1 5PX.

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU)

GMIAU are a voluntary organization, assisting people subject to immigration control for over 25 years.

They run an immigration advice drop-in service every Tuesday morning at 8.00am. They can advise on all matters relating to immigration, nationality and asylum law.

  • Telephone: 161 740 7722
  • Email: info@gmiau.org
  • Web: https://gmiau.org/
  • Address: 1 Delaunays Road, Crumpsall Green, Manchester M8 4QS

Please note that they are only able to see approximately fifteen people per week at the drop-in service on a first come, first served basis. Please arrive early in order to avoid disappointment.

 

Advice for EU migrants

The AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe)

The AIRE Centre is a specialist legal charity using European Law to protect fundamental rights.

They run a free advice line between 10.30am and 6.00pm, every Monday- Friday. They advise on EEA national’s free movement rights, including applications under the Settled Status Scheme.

  • Advice line:0207 831 4276
  • Email: info@airecentre.org
  • Web: https://www.airecentre.org/
  • Address: The AIRE Centre, 505 Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5DR

 

Advice for women

Rights of Women

Rights of Women is a legal charity assisting vulnerable women establish and access their legal rights.

They run a free advice line for women seeking advice on immigration and asylum law. The line is open between 10.00am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 5.00pm on Mondays and Thursdays.

 

Advice for children or for those assisting children

Coram Children’s Legal Centre

CORAM is a legal charity aimed at promoting and upholding children’s human rights.

Their Migrant Children’s Project provides free advice on issues affecting children subject to immigration control, through email and their outreach program.

Their Children’s Pro Bono Service provides free legal advice for children entitled to British Citizenship.

  • Web: https://www.childrenslegalcentre.com/
  • Email:
    • Migrant Children’s Project: mcpadvice@coramclc.org.uk
    • Children’s Pro Bono Legal Service: cpls@coramlc.org.uk.
  • Address: Coram Children’s Legal Centre, 41 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ

Just for Kids Law

Just for Kids Law is a legal and campaigning charity assisting children with a wide range of issues.

They offer free immigration advice to children.

  • Telephone: 0203 174 2279
  • Email: info@justforkidslaw.org.uk
  • Web: https://justforkidslaw.org/
  • Address: Just For Kids Law, Unit 4D, Leroy House, London N1 3QP

 

Advice for LGBT+ people

UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG)

A charity providing support to LGBTQI+ people through the asylum and immigration system.

They provide free advice to asylum seekers and migrants at meetings in London and Birmingham – details of these meetings are available on their website.

  • Telephone: 020 7922 7811
  • Email: admin@uklgig.org.uk
  • Web: https://uklgig.org.uk/
  • Address: UKLGIG, 7-14 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4YR

 

Advice for victims of people trafficking

Kalayaan

A charity providing advice and support services for domestic migrant workers in the UK.  Support services include retrieving passports from employers, providing English language courses and providing practical emergency assistance to clients who have recently left abusive employers. You can call them to make an appointment for advice.

  • Telephone: 0207 243 2942
  • Email: info@kalayaan.org.uk
  • Web: http://www.kalayaan.org.uk/
  • Address: Kalayaan, St Francis of Assisi Community Centre, 13 Hippodrome Place, London W11 4SF

 

Advice for victims of torture or trauma who are seeking therapeutic help

The Helen Bamber Foundation

A human rights charity based in London with a specialist team of therapists, doctors and legal experts who hold an international reputation for providing therapeutic care, medical consultation, legal protection and practical support to survivors of human rights violations.

Their multidisciplinary team including GPS, psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists provide expert care for migrants who have experienced torture, human trafficking and other forms of ill treatment.  They also offer a medico-legal report service as expert evidence in asylum claims.

  • Telephone (general enquiries):  0203 058 2020
  • Email: reception@helenbamber.org
  • Web: http://www.helenbamber.org/
  • Address: Helen Bamber Foundation, Bruges Place, 15 – 20 Baynes Street, London NW1 0TF

The Helen Bamber Foundation only accepts clients through their formal referral process, which you can find details of here. Self-referrals are accepted.

Freedom from Torture

Freedom from Torture provide specialist psychological therapy to help asylum seekers and refugees who have survived torture in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.

They also provide medico-legal reports in support of asylum claims.

Freedom from Torture accepts self-referrals through their website, accessible here. Their website provides contact details for their centres outside of London.

 

Assistance with housing or destitution support

Asylum Support Appeals Project (ASAP)

ASAP is a small national charity which aims to reduce destitution amongst asylum seekers by protecting their legal rights to food and shelter.

ASAP provides free legal representation and advice to the asylum seekers appealing against UKBA’s decision to refuse or withdraw their asylum support.  Every year, they assist about 600 asylum seekers at the First-Tier Tribunal (Asylum Support).

  • Telephone: 020 3716 0284
  • Web: http://www.asaproject.org/
  • Address: ASAP, Ground Floor Anchorage House, 2 Clove Crescent, East India Dock, London E14 2BE

ASAP accepts self-referrals; you can find more details about this here.

British Red Cross

The British Red Cross offer assistance with urgent needs of refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants, including:

  • food parcels and vouchers
  • small amounts of cash
  • clothes
  •  toiletries
  • blankets
  • baby items
  • travel vouchers.

You can search for your local refugee support service here or see the following contact details:

Southall Black Sisters

Southall Black Sisters, a charity dedicated to fighting and advocating for women’s human rights in the UK, have a dedicated fund for assisting women facing gender based violence with immigration issues who have no recourse to public funds. The fund is designed to enable women and their children to enter a refuge or safe accommodation to escape domestic violence.

If you meet the criteria for Southall Black Sister’s No Recourse fund, you can request an application pack here.

Project 17

Project 17 is a charity who works to end destitution among migrant children, working in particular with families to improve their access to local authority housing.

They provide an advice service for migrants facing homelessness and extreme poverty because they are unable to work or claim welfare benefits.

  • Telephone:07963 509 044
  • Email: info@project17.org.uk
  • Web: https://www.project17.org.uk/
  • Address: Project 17, St Joseph’s Hospice, Mare Street, London E8 4SA

 

Advice on immigration detention

If you are currently being held in immigration detention, we suggest you get help from a legal representative to apply for bail. Bail is a process where you are released from detention by a court, as long as you meet certain conditions.

Legal aid is available for bail applications, depending on your financial situation. However, each detention centre has particular law firms it works with, so you will need to ask staff in the detention centre which law firms you can use.

Every detention centre and short-term holding facility in the UK also has a visitor group run by volunteers who may be able to provide initial advice and support. You can also contact BID.

Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID)

Bail for Immigration Detainees is a registered charity that works with asylum seekers and migrants to secure their release from detention.  BID was set up in 1998.  Their three offices in London, Oxford and Portsmouth between them work with detainees in all removal centres in the UK, and with many immigration detainees held in prison at the end of their sentence.

BID can help you and support you through a bail application (see website for details of how to get support from BID in making your bail application).

  • Advice line: 020 7456 9750 (call between 10.00am to 12.00pm, Monday to Thursday – outside of these times leave a message)
  • Email: enquiries@biduk.org
  • Web: http://www.biduk.org/
  • Address: Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), 1b Finsbury Park Road, London N4 2LA

 

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