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To: UK Home Secretary

Free immigration advice is under threat

Photo by Metin Ozer on Unsplash
We urge the UK Home Secretary to halt the consideration of charging organisations providing free immigration advice.

Why is this important?

The Home Office is consulting, with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), on a proposal which will mean that, for the first time, fees will be charged to organisations (including many charities and community organisations) who currently provide free immigration advice. If the proposal goes ahead, many of those organisations, mostly charities and community organisations, will have to pay hundreds or thousands of pounds a year in fees. Some will almost certainly have to stop providing free immigration advice. This move would worsen an already critical shortage of immigration advisers in the country, where demand far outstrips availability.

Under the Home Office proposals, organisations which provide free immigration advice will have to pay an initial registration fee of up to £538 for their organisation, together with £520 for every adviser. A reduced annual fee would be paid for each year after that.

Free immigration services are vital to make sure that many of the most vulnerable migrants receive the accurate and speedy advice they need to tackle the complex UK immigration system. Without that advice, some may face wrongful removal from the UK. That will include refugees and asylum seekers, who could be deported to countries or locations where they would face persecution or deprivation. It also includes many others, such as EU citizens with a right to 'settled status' to stay in the UK, who have nevertheless faced removal from the UK, or have been refused entry into the UK.

Free immigration advice services are provided by a wide range of organisations throughout the UK, often community-based. If those services are taken away, some of the most vulnerable may turn to unregulated organisations or groups, and be given illegal, and inaccurate 'advice'.



2024-05-02 15:49:31 +0100

100 signatures reached

2024-04-25 20:21:15 +0100

50 signatures reached

2024-04-25 16:06:46 +0100

25 signatures reached

2024-04-18 16:44:01 +0100

10 signatures reached