Sources of information and advice
Migrants’ Rights Network is unfortunately unable to give legal advice directly to the public. Our work concentrates on policy analysis, network development and advocacy and while we provide information and commentary on this website this does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. Emails asking for specific legal advice will not be replied to.
However there are other organisations which you can ask for specific and personal advice and websites where more information is available. Please note that some of these organisations deal only with specific issues. Read the description and make sure you contact the right organisation.
Charities and online advice
The AIRE Centre is a specialist law centre providing free legal advice - and some other legal services - to individuals who have rights under European law. In some cases, AIRE Centre is able to provide advice to individuals directly. This is particularly the case if you have a query concerning EU law on the free movement of persons or you have a query about making an application to the European Court of Human Rights. Find out more about AIRE Centre advice service
Asylum Aid provides free, specialist legal representation and advice to people seeking asylum in the UK, and campaigns for a fairer and more efficient asylum system. The Asylum Aid advice line offers free one-off legal advice to asylum-seekers, refugees as well as individuals or organisations working with them. To find out more, visit the Asylum Aid website – How to get Advice
Asylum Support Appeals Project
ASAP is a small national charity which aims to reduce destitution amongst asylum seekers by protecting their legal rights to food and shelter. ASAP specialises in asylum support law - that is, the law relating to asylum seekers’ entitlement to housing and welfare support. Unfortunately ASAP is unable to give advice to individual asylum seekers, and ASAP does not give immigration advice. ASAP provides resources and advice to those advising individual asylum seekers via its website and telephone advice line - 0203 716 0283 (Mon, Wed and Fri; 2pm-4pm). For more details visit the ASAP website
Bail for Immigration Detainees
Bail for Immigration Detainees is an independent charity that exists to challenge immigration detention in the UK. BID works with asylum seekers and migrants, in removal centres and prisons, to secure their release from detention. The BID website also contains information for detainees about making a bail application and other resources. To find out more how they can help detainees, visit the BID website– How to get out of detention
Barka UK operates a free information and confidentiality telephone line for the citizens of Central and Eastern Europe (A10 nationals from – Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, and Bulgaria). Barka UK’s free telephone line number is open from 9am - 4pm (Mon, Tue, Wed). The service is provided in Polish, Russian, Romanian and English. Please call the free number at 0800 171 2926
Coram Children’s Legal Centre (CLC)
The CLC Migrant Children’s Project aims to ensure that refugee, asylum seeking and migrant children are able to obtain the services and assistance to which they are legally entitled. CLC provides advice on their rights and entitlements, and on the impact of immigration law on services to children. If you would like to speak to an advisor regarding refugee, asylum seeking and migrant children and their access to services and support, call 0207 636 8505 (Tues - Thurs 10am - 4pm) for free legal advice on all immigration-related issues or visit the CLC advice section of their website.
East European Advice Centre
The East European Advice Centre (EEAC) aims to help socially and economically disadvantaged people of East European origin in their efforts to settle in the UK. EEAC does this by providing free and impartial information and advice and by promoting and enhancing their social welfare. To find out more about their services, visit the EEAC website.
Health and Safety Executive
The HSE website provides useful infomration in a variety of languages on how British health and safety law protects you at work. If you employ migrant workers, it will help you make sure that you are looking after their health and safety properly. Health & Safety law provides protection for migrant workers whether they are working here legally or not. Visit the HSE - Working in the UK from overseas website.
Housing Rights Information
The Housing Rights website aims to provide accurate information to recent arrivals and to advisers about entitlements to housing, based on people's immigration status. Visit the Housing Rights website.
Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) is an independent national charity which exists to campaign for justice in immigration, nationality and refugee law and policy. JCWI provides trainings, legal resources and some immigration advice for individuals. Find out more about how to access individual legal assistance from JCWI. JCWI operates a telephone advice line, dedicated to irregular or undocumented migrants in London. The advice is completely free and confidential.
Kalayaan is a charity established in 1987 to provide advice, advocacy and support services in the UK for migrant domestic workers. It is not involved in helping people to come to the UK from another country. Kalayaan provides free, independent and confidential on immigration and employment to migrant domestic workers in the UK. Find out how to seek advice from Kalayaan.
Right to Remain
Right to Remain (formerly NCADC) is a voluntary organisation providing practical help and advice to people facing deportation on how to launch and run anti-deportation campaigns. It provides objective and confidential advice on all pros and cons of campaigning work, including using the media Right to remain cannot provide legal advice, but may be able to help you find up-to-date information that could help your case. To find out more, visit the Right to Remain website.
The Poppy Project
The POPPY Project was set up in 2003. They provide high-quality support, advocacy and accommodation to trafficked women. To make a referral, call 020 7735 2062 and ask to speak to the Poppy Project duty worker or visit their website for more information. Poppy Legal, part of the Poppy Project hosts a free legal drop-in for women, running from 2-5pm every Thursday at Eaves (Canterbury Court, 1-3 Brixton Rd, SW9 6DE) providing legal advice on immigration and asylum.
The Refugee Council is a leading organisation in the UK working with asylum seekers and refugees. It gives direct help and support to asylum seekers and refugees to ensure their needs and concerns are addressed. To find out more about their services, visit the"How can we help you?" part of the Refugee Council website.
Shelter, a housing and homelessness charity, has compiled information on the rights of EU and EEA nationals to access social support in the UK. To access this information, visit the Shelter "Homeless EU nationals" part of the website.
UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group
The UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) is a charity that promotes equality and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people who seek asylum in the UK, or who wish to immigrate here to be with their same-sex partner. Asylum related activities include supporting LGBT asylum seekers; research & Policy and training and information. More information on seeking advice from UKLGIG.
Rights of Women
Rights of Women operates an immigration and asylum law advice line for advice on issues including: the rights of EEA nationals and their family members, claiming asylum in the UK, trafficking, domestic violence and immigration law and no recourse to public funds please call 020 7490 7689 on Mondays between 12pm-3pm and Thursdays between 10am-1pm. For more info check their immigration advice section of the website.
Other sources of advice and representation
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
The CAB service aims to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives. The service provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. There are 394 Citizens Advice Bureaux across England and Wales. Locate a CAB in your area.
Law Centres Federation
Law Centres are not-for-profit legal practices providing free legal advice and representation to disadvantaged people. There are 56 Law Centres in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, staffed by solicitors and barristers who specialise in areas of civil law including employment, housing, discrimination, welfare benefits, education and immigration. Find a law centre near you.
Office of the Legal Services Commissioner
The OISC is responsible for regulating immigration advisers in the UK. Its website provides a list of all approved immigration advisors currently operating. Please be aware that most advisors on this list do charge for their services. Find an OISC approved immigration advisor where you are.
The Law Society
The Law Society represents solicitors in England and Wales. Its website contains a searchable database to help you find a solicitor, advice on what to expect, guides to common legal problems and what to do if things go wrong. Find a solicitor near you.
Trades Union Congress (TUC)
The TUC has 58 affiliated unions, representing 6.2 million working people from all walks of life. It campaigns for a fair deal at work and for social justice at home and abroad. The TUC website contains resources on employment rights, and a ‘union-finder’ tool which will signpost you to the appropriate trade union for your industry/workplace. For more, visit the TUC website.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is the UK’s national advisory body serving the interests of international students and those who work with them. They operate a website and an advice line for international students already in the country and those who are not yet in the UK. For more information visit UKCISA website.
UNISON is offering a pilot service which provides free immigration telephone advice to UNISON members who have come to work in the UK from countries outside of the European Union. UNISON works with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) to provide this support.If you have been a member of UNISON for more than 4 weeks and need immigration advice and information, please call UNISON Direct at 0845 355 0845. For more info check the UNISON website.