Get immigration advice
Contact your local Citizens Advice if you want to speak to someone in person about an immigration problem. It’s important to get help early if you're not sure what to do.
Get free help from Citizens Advice
You can get free, confidential help from your local Citizens Advice on:
- visa eligibility and applications - including advice on filling in forms (although they might not be able to fill in the form for you)
- chasing up Home Office delays
- getting replacement immigration documents
- problems with coming to the UK or staying in the UK, eg applications for entry clearance, leave to enter, leave to remain or residence permits
- becoming a British citizen (also known as ‘naturalisation’)
Your local Citizens Advice may also be able to help with more difficult issues - it depends whether they have an immigration specialist. Ask when you get in touch.
If your situation is more complicated
If your situation is more complicated, you might need to pay for specialist advice from a professional immigration adviser or solicitor. For example, if you’re applying for your family to join you in the UK or you’re separating from your partner. You'll also need specialist help if you've overstayed or are facing deportation.
You need to make sure that an immigration specialist is registered with OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) before you ask for their advice.
All immigration specialists must be registered with OISC - if they’re not, they won’t have the best knowledge to advise you (and you’ll still have to pay).
If you’re in Scotland, you could also contact the Ethnic Minorities Law Centre (EMLC) - they give legal advice and representation on all immigration issues.
Get legal aid (free legal help)
If you’re on a low income, you might be eligible for legal aid if you’re:
- experiencing domestic violence
- a victim of trafficking
- applying for asylum
Make sure the adviser you choose has legal aid funding. If you choose an adviser that doesn’t have legal aid funding, you could end up spending thousands of pounds for no reason.