For immigration advice, you must use a trained adviser who is registered with OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).
You could use a specialist immigration solicitor. Some organisations also have advisers who work for them.
Immigration advisers are only allowed to give you advice on things they’re qualified to help you with. They must be qualified either to Level 1,2 or 3:
- Level 1 (advice and assistance): entry clearance, leave to remain, citizenship
- Level 2 (casework): asylum claims, problems with visas
- Level 3 (advocacy and representation): immigration tribunals
You can find out more about immigration advice on the GOV.UK website. You can use this webpage to find advisers in Leeds and check what level they are qualified to. You should also check if they charge a fee.
Charities in Leeds which can provide some immigration advice include PAFRAS and Manuel Bravo Project. Manuel Bravo Project offers free legal advice to asylum seekers who want to appeal against a negative first decision or submit a fresh claim for asylum and who cannot obtain Legal Aid.
Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can also provide some free immigration advice (check with the local office to find out what issues they can advise you on). Find out more about getting immigration advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau:
Or you could contact Leeds Citizens Advice directly. You will need an appointment.
(City Centre): 31 New York St, Leeds LS2 7DT, Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm.
(North Leeds): Willow House, New Roscoe Buildings, Cross Francis St, Chapeltown
0113 223 4400, 9am – 5pm.
Remember, by law, any immigration adviser or solicitor must be registered with OISC so always check this.
If you would like to officially become a British Citizen, you can apply to the Home Office for Citizenship. There are certain things you have to prove to the Home Office to be allowed to apply for citizenship. This includes passing a Life in the UK Test and proving you have an approved English Qualification. Find out more on the GOV.UK website:
Please be aware, the application can be expensive, and your application could fail if the forms are not filled out correctly. Leeds City Council offers a support service for people who want to apply for British Citizenship.
The Register Office at Leeds City Council can help you with the application using the Nationality Document Return Service (NDRS) for online applications and the Nationality Checking Service (NCS) for paper applications.
You can find out more on the Leeds City Council website:
It is very important the application forms are filled out correctly. The application is expensive and you should get immigration advice to make sure you have completed the forms correctly.
If your application is successful, you will be able to attend a Citizenship ceremony in Leeds. You will receive your Certificate of Naturalisation at the ceremony. After this you can apply for a British passport which is usually processed within approximately 6 weeks. You can find out more about the Citizenship ceremony here: