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Get immigration advice

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

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.

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 in Northern Ireland, you could also contact the South Tyrone Empowerment Programme (STEP) - they give legal advice and representation on all immigration issues.

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 support

Find out if you're eligible for help with legal costs

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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