Immigrants’ Helpline does not currently provide legal advice. But we hope this page can lead you to find the help you need.
Below, we set out some information about the English legal system and finding lawyers in the UK.
What is a lawyer?
In the UK, the word lawyer refers to someone who is qualified to give legal advice. The word usually refers either to a barrister or to a solicitor, but can also refer to a caseworker.
A barrister is a type of lawyer who has rights of audience. This means that a barrister can represent you in court. In the context of immigration law cases, a barrister would typically represent clients in front of the Immigration Tribunal or higher courts. Barristers can also offer specialised legal advice, especially on the likelihood of winning a particular case in court.
A solicitor is a generalist legal adviser who can provide you with advice on any area of law, including immigration. A solicitor will typically be your first point of contact in any immigration matter. While a solicitor would not typically represent you in court, he or she may be involved in running the court proceedings and managing the relevant documents.
A caseworker is a type of social worker who is allowed to give legal advice. In the context of immigration law, caseworkers can advise on the law under a specialised qualification, without the need to become solicitors or barristers.
How do I find a lawyer?
When looking for a lawyer, you can consider contacting one of the organisations or firms below. Or you can visit the Law Society’s Find a Solicitor website, select “Immigration and changing countries” under “Your legal issue” and enter your UK postcode. This will show you all the solicitors specialising in immigration law in your area.
Below is a number of other organisations that you could contact for advice:
Asylum Aid offers legal representation and advice to asylum seekers. Their advice line offers free advice on a one-off basis.
The Asylum Aid Advice Line can be reached at: +44 (0) 207 354 9264. Calls are accepted on Tuesdays between 1pm and 4pm.
JCWI advises on all areas of asylum and immigration law. Please refer to their website for a list of prices and their contact details.