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Get specialist immigration advice

This advice applies to Wales

Coronavirus - if your visa is ending and you can’t leave the UK

If your visa expires at any time from 24 January to 31 August 2020, the Home Office will continue to let you stay until 31 August.

You should contact the Home Office if you can’t leave by 31 August because for example:

  • you have a medical condition which makes you ‘extremely vulnerable’ to coronavirus – check if you’re extremely vulnerable on the NHS Inform website
  • the country you need to go to won’t let you in because of coronavirus
  • you can’t arrange travel in time

You should tell the Home Office using the contact details on GOV.UK. You’ll need to give evidence of why you can’t leave in time.

If you need help with an immigration problem, you can contact your nearest Citizens Advice for free and confidential advice.

They might be able to help you with issues like:

  • applying to the EU Settlement Scheme
  • problems with coming to the UK or staying in the UK - for example, applying for entry clearance, leave to enter, leave to remain or residence permits
  • becoming a British citizen - also known as ‘naturalisation’
  • your right to work, claim benefits and use public services in the UK
  • getting replacement immigration documents

If your problem is complicated

Your local Citizens Advice can help you if they have a specialist immigration adviser. If they can't help you, you can:

Immigration specialists must be registered with the OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) - check if a specialist is registered with the OISC on GOV.UK.

All Citizens Advice advisers are registered with the OISC. 

Before you get specialist immigration advice

Check if you have to pay for it and what the fees are. Getting help from Citizens Advice is always free.

If you decide to work with the specialist, make sure:

  • they confirm their advice in writing

  • they keep you updated on your case at least every 3 months

  • you have copies of any original documents you give them 

If the specialist is a solicitor, you can get advice about what will happen before, during and after your appointment on the Law Society’s website.

If you need help paying for a solicitor

You might be eligible for free legal help - this is called ‘legal aid’. You can get legal aid if you’re on a low income and you’re:

  • experiencing domestic abuse
  • applying for asylum
  • a victim of trafficking

If you’re under 18, you can get legal aid for all immigration and citizenship applications if you:

  • have been separated from your parents

  • aren’t being cared for by someone with parental responsibility for you

Check if you’re eligible for legal aid for your immigration problem on GOV.UK.

If you can get legal aid, make sure you choose an adviser with legal aid funding. If you choose an adviser without legal aid funding, you could end up spending thousands of pounds.

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