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Get immigration advice

This advice applies to England

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.

Coronavirus - staying longer in the UK

If your visa expires between 24 January and 31 July 2020, you must contact the Home Office. You’ll be allowed to stay in the UK until 31 July 2020 if you can’t leave because of travel restrictions or self-isolation.

You could also switch to a visa that allows you to stay after 31 July 2020.

Find out how to contact the Home Office and stay for longer on GOV.UK.

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. 

Contact your local Citizens Advice for a recommendation - or you can search for an immigration adviser or solicitor in your area yourself.

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 on a low income, you might be eligible for legal aid if you’re:

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

Children under 18 might be eligible for legal aid if they’ve been separated from their parents and are not being cared for by someone who’s responsible for them.

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

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. 

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