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Passport to nowhere: the new immigration contract

31 January 2005
Immigration and asylum briefing cover

Introduction

Passport to nowhere [PDF 310 kb] - The practical impact of the new Immigration Specification on service delivery to bureau clients

As the number of people claiming asylum in England and Wales increased so too did the Legal Services Commission;s (LSC) expenditure on immigration and asylum work.

The LSC responded to financial pressures on its budget and anticipated changes in Immigration law and procedure by introducting a number of changes into the General Civil Contract effective from 1 April 2004.  The changes included:

  • the use of a unique file number for each case, which would be the same as the Home Office reference number
  • a new and compulsory accreditation scheme for immigration advisers
  • the introduction of different time limits for advice given at different stages of a case
  • previous legal advice to count against the time limit if the client approaches a new adviser
  • the removal of devolved powers (although it is now possible to apply for these to be reinstated)
  • adviser attendance at Home Office interviews only allowed in exceptional circumstances.

Twenty three Citizens Advice bureaux provide immigration and asylum advice under LSC contracts.  In July 2004, Citizens Advice facilitated a meeting of these bureaux to discuss their experiences of operating under the new Immigration Specification.  This report summarises the key points arising out of that meeting.

Policy contact: Sophie Brookes sophie.brookes@citizensadvice.org.uk

Passport to nowhere [PDF 310 kb] - The practical impact of the new Immigration Specification on service delivery to bureau clients