With significant changes to the Legal Aid scheme having come into effect on 1st April 2013, including a rebrand by the Legal Services Commission to the Legal Aid Agency, many people have been left wondering what help is still available to them.
Following the changes, Keoghs, Nicholls, Lindsell & Harris are one of the few firms of solicitors able to offer advice on Immigration and Asylum matters under the Legal Aid Scheme, in Great Manchester and Lancashire.
Unfortunately, Immigration, like many other areas of law, has seen a reduction in the types of cases which still qualify for Legal Aid under the new rules.
Although complicated, as a general rule the following types of matters will normally still qualify for Legal Aid assistance:
Detention cases and bail
Applications for leave to remain under the Domestic Violence rule
Applications for leave by victims of trafficking
Proceedings before SIAC
Asylum cases including further submissions (Fresh Claim)
Cases involving Article 2 or 3 (European Convention on Human Rights)
Some Judicial Review work remains in scope, but in limited circumstances.
Most mainstream non-asylum immigration work is no longer available under Legal Aid, including cases made on the basis of Article 8 of the ECHR (right to a family/private life), entry clearance visas e.g. fiancé, spouse, students etc.
In addition to being the right type of case, you also have to be able to show that your financial circumstances are below the necessary threshold, to qualify.
So what does this mean for you?
If your case doesn’t fit within one of the categories above, it is unlikely that you will be able to get Legal Aid on your case.
If you are not sure, whether you might qualify for Legal Aid and would like to check to see if you are eligible then you can contact our specialist Immigration solicitor, Sean Ell, who would be happy to provide confirmation of eligibility for you.
For those matters that are no longer eligible, we can still help and can provide assistance on a competitive basis. On most types of cases we are able to offer a fixed fee quote, which means you know from the outset what you will have to pay.
Immigration is a complex area of law, where the rules are constantly changing.
Our Immigration solicitor is accredited by the Law Society as a specialist in all aspects of Immigration and Asylum law. At Keoghs, Nicholls, Lindsell &Harris whether your case is privately paying or Legal Aid funded, work on your matter will be undertaken by a qualified solicitor.