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:
A level 1 adviser (advice and assistance) can give you advice on simple cases, for example getting a business visa extension when you have no problems with work and all necessary documents. Level 1 advisers can advise you on:
- entry clearance
- leave to enter
- leave to remain
- nationality and citizenship
- EU and EEA law
Level 2 adviser (Casework)
can do everything that Level 1 advisers can do, and you may want to use a level 2 adviser if you’ve had problems in the past with immigration and want permission to remain in the UK. They
can also accept more complicated cases for example:
- help with claims for asylum and human rights applications
- getting your visa application decision reviewed (an ‘administrative review’)
- if you entered the UK illegally or stayed after your visa expired
- if you’re being removed or deported
A Level 3 adviser (advocacy and representation) can do everything that Level 1 and 2 advisers can, and they can also appear on your behalf at an immigration tribunal. In certain situations, they can help you if you go to court.
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.
PAFRAS (Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) offers casework support to asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers who live in the Leeds area every Wednesday from 10am to 11.30am at St Aidans Community Hall in Harehills – no need to make an appointment as it is a drop-in service.
PAFRAS telephone queries
PAFRAS email queries
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.
0113 350 8608 (9am to 11am Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours there is an answerphone message service)
Citizens Advice 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 Citizens Advice:
Leeds Citizens Advice Oxford House, Oxford Row, Leeds, LS1 3BE (face-to-face City Centre Drop-In is open Monday to Friday 9am-1pm. After 1pm they are open for booked appointments only)
0808 2 78 78 78(Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm)
Citizens Advice Leeds
Remember, by law, any immigration adviser or solicitor must be registered with OISC so always check this.
Live Permanently in the UK
If you would like to live permanently in the UK, one of these may be a route that is appropriate for you and your circumstances:
- Settle in the UK (indefinite leave to remain)
- Become a British Citizen
- Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status)
- Prove you have right of abode in the UK
- Apply to stay in the UK as a stateless person
These can be long, complicated (and often expensive) legal processes, and you will need support from professional services such as Immigration Advisers. You can find out more on the gov.uk website here:
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