Legal Aid Services

The Immigration Advice Service conducts both private and publicly funded work. We are an approved legal aid service provider and have been awarded the Legal Aid Agency Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) for our work. Many of our Legal Aid immigration specialists are qualified solicitors and immigration solicitors.

Whilst under the new rules (April 2013) there has been a reduction in the types of immigration and asylum cases eligible for Legal Aid. As a general rule, the following matters will qualify for some advice, assistance and/or representation:

  • Detention & bail cases
  • Applications for leave to remain under the domestic violence rule
  • Applications for leave by those identified as victims of trafficking
  • Proceedings before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, ie; deportation and deprivation of citizenship cases where information is to be kept confidential for reasons of national security
  • Many asylum cases & appeals
  • Applications for leave to remain or settlement as a refugee with humanitarian protection/discretionary leave under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, ie; freedom from torture or inhuman and degrading treatment
  • Some judicial review applications, in limited circumstances.

In addition to falling into an eligible category, you will also have to satisfy the means and merits tests to qualify for Legal Aid for immigration. The merits test looks at whether, on the balance of probabilities, your application will succeed. The means test examines whether you satisfy the financial criteria.

Unfortunately, most mainstream non-asylum immigration cases are no longer eligible for Legal Aid, including entry clearance visas eg, for a spouse/partner or family member, or applications made under Article 8 of the ECHR (right to a family or private life), except where you qualify for exceptional case funding.

If you are unsure whether you qualify for publicly funded immigration assistance then contact the team at IAS to speak to one of our Legal Aid immigration team, many of whom qualified solicitors and immigration solicitors. Even if you are not eligible for Legal Aid our specialist immigration lawyers can advise, assist and represent you at very competitive rates.

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