Legal aid can be incredibly impactful in certain situations, helping people to sort out their immigration issues with professional help while being supported with the financial side of things.
If you successfully get legal aid, then it can help you to pay some or even all of your legal costs. Here at the Immigration Advice Service, we understand that this can be an absolute lifesaver for some people. After all, not everyone is in a financial or stable situation in which to pay for legal help themselves.
Not everyone is entitled to legal aid. It’s a system that is designed to protect and support the most vulnerable members of society, so it can’t be extended to everyone.
However, if you’re on a low income and you have a serious legal problem, then you may be eligible for legal aid. Generally speaking, your entitlement to legal aid is based upon:
- Your financial situation
- The type of case
This means that the following are always assessed when your case for legal aid is being considered:
- Your income
- Your family situation
- Your living situation
Legal aid for immigration cases can be a little more complicated, however. Recently, legal aid for immigration has been reduced, with many cases becoming ineligible. However, if you are on a low income and either you or your family are at risk of abuse or serious physical or mental harm, then you may be eligible for legal aid. We always recommend getting in touch with professional and qualified immigration lawyers if you want in-depth advice about your eligibility.
Who Is Eligible For Immigration Legal Aid?
As mentioned before, new rules have meant that there has been a reduction in the number of immigration cases that are eligible for legal aid. These new rules came into place in April 2013 – since then, people who come to the UK and then seek legal aid have needed to meet much more specific criteria for eligibility. Generally speaking, you’ll be able to receive advice and assistance through legal aid for:
- Detention and bail cases – If you have been held in immigration detention and want to apply or appeal for bail to be granted, then you may be eligible to apply for legal aid.
- Asylum applications, cases, and appeals – Asylum cases are still very much eligible for legal aid applications. If you have come to the UK to claim asylum, then you can contact immigration lawyers to apply for legal aid
- Applications for Leave to Remain by victims of trafficking – If you have been identified or are applying to be identified as a victim of human trafficking, then you might be eligible for legal aid.
- Applications for Leave to Remain as a victim of domestic violence – If you have been living in the UK but have had a relationship breakdown due to domestic violence, you are eligible to apply for Leave to Remain, and you may also be able to receive legal aid.
- Proceedings before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission – This includes cases of deportation and deprivation of citizenship where information is having to be kept confidential as a matter of national security.
- Exceptional immigration cases that involve human rights issues – If your immigration matter involves human rights issues or violations, then you may be eligible for legal aid.
Get In Touch
Are you still unsure or confused about whether you are eligible for legal aid? Here at IAS, our experts are all OISC-regulated and qualified immigration lawyers. No one is better placed to give you the advice and assistance you need, so get in touch with us today to discover how we can help bring clarity to your immigration problems.