At Saxon Solicitors we understand that, for various reasons, not everyone can afford to pay for legal representation. Therefore, we are contracted with the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) to provide Legal Aid services in immigration and asylum law. Our expert immigration solicitors can provide free legal advice and assistance in some asylum and immigration cases which is free to our clients. Legal Aid funding can cover not only written applications and submissions to the Home Office but also representation in the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal for bail applications and appeal hearings as well as advocacy in the Higher Courts.
We provide Legal Aid representation in the following types of cases:
• Asylum claims – where there is either a risk to a person’s life or a risk of them being tortured if returned to their country of origin. Legal aid can also extend to family reunion applications for refugees in particularly complex cases.
• Victims of human trafficking – we can provide advice and assistance in relation to applications for leave to enter or remain by a victim of trafficking if there is a conclusive determination that the person is a victim, or we have ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe that the person is a victim and there has been no conclusive negative determination that the person is not such a victim.
• Victims of slavery, servitude or forced or compulsory labour – we can provide advice and assistance in relation to applications for leave to enter or remain by a victims of slavery, servitude or forced compulsory labour if there is a conclusive determination that the person is a victim, or we have ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe that the person is a victim and there has been no conclusive negative determination that the person is not such a victim.
• Judicial Review – legal aid is permitted in fresh asylum claims and other cases certified under either section 94 or section 96 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (effectively where there would be no appeal to the immigration tribunal against the decision).
• Victims of domestic violence (applications for indefinite leave to remain in the UK) – we can provide advice and assistance to victims of domestic violence in an application for indefinite leave to remain if the person has previously been granted leave to remain as a spouse or partner of a British citizen or settled person in the UK and the relationship has broken down permanently due to domestic violence. This includes clients who have been granted leave to enter or remain outside the immigration rules as a partner or spouse of a British citizen or settled person in the UK (e.g. victims with leave to enter outside the immigration rules or with discretionary leave to remain).
• Victims of domestic violence (applications for residence cards under the EEA Regulations) – we can provide advice and assistance in relation to an application for a residence card to a person who has ceased to be a family member after the termination of a marriage (i.e. only if divorced) who was a victim of domestic violence or was a family member of the victim and the violence took place during the marriage.
• Detention – we can provide advice and assistance to clients in relation to their detention under the Home Secretary’s immigration powers, such as applications for bail (and conditions on bail).
• Bail Conditions – we can provide advice and assistance on bail conditions to clients who are liable to or have been released from detention or to a person who has had conditions imposed on bail, such as restrictions to reside at a fixed address, reporting and employment.
• Appeals before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) – we can provide advice and assistance including representation to clients in relation to an appeal before the SIAC. The SIAC deals with appeals from persons deported by the Home Secretary under various statutory powers, and usually related to matters of national security, the SIAC also hears appeals by persons deprived of British citizenship under the British Nationality Act 1981.
• Terrorism prevention and investigation measures – we can provide advice, assistance and representation to clients in relation to notice and control orders proceedings under the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011.
• Exceptional case funding – This is a discretionary scheme where a case which would normally be outside the scope of legal aid is eligible for legal aid funding because a refusal to provide legal aid would breach the client’s human rights (or would be likely to do so). Exceptional case funding applications are decided by the Legal Aid Agency on a case-by-case basis.
• In August 2018 the government announced its intention to reinstate immigration legal aid for unaccompanied and separated children in non-asylum cases to ensure access to justice in such cases. Doing so will require a statutory amendment that cannot immediately be approved by parliament. In the interim, the Ministry of Justice has issued guidance that, pending the statutory amendment, legal aid through exceptional case funding should generally be granted. Exceptional case funding is intended to ensure that legal aid is accessible in all cases where there is a risk of breach of human rights. If you are involved with the welfare of unaccompanied and separated children, we can help you to apply for legal aid via the exceptional funding scheme.
• Representation in immigration and asylum cases that are covered by legal aid will also extend to representation at bail hearings and appeal hearings in the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court if required.
Contact us today for a Free Legal Aid Eligibility Assessment and initial consultation
For an immediate Free Legal Aid Eligibility Assessment or to discuss your case with one of our specialist team members, please call us now on 0161 795 9955, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our short Free Enquiry Form by clicking here and we will soon be in touch with you.
How to Qualify for Legal Aid
Legal Aid is normally only available if you can show that you pass 2 tests: the means test and the merits test.
The means test says that Legal Aid will only be available to people whose income and capital are below prescribed levels.
The merits test in civil cases says that Legal Aid will only be available where it is justified either by the importance of the case or by the chances of it being successful.
The means test is assessed on 3 separate criteria, all of which you must satisfy, by being below the threshold on capital, gross income and disposable income.
- Capital – less than £3,000 for all non-asylum cases, less than £8,000 for all asylum cases.
- Gross income – less than £2,657 per calendar month. If you have more than 4 child dependants, add £222 for the fifth child and each additional child.
- Disposable income – less than £733 per calendar month.
As well as the means and merits tests, civil cases must pass a scope test. This limits the civil cases Legal Aid will fund based on the type of case.
We can tell you whether you may be eligible for Legal Aid. For an immediate Free Legal Aid Eligibility Assessment or to discuss your case with one of our specialist team members, please call us now on 0161 795 9955, email us on email@example.com or complete our short Free Enquiry Form and we will soon be in touch with you.
If you do not qualify for legal aid then we will do all the work for you on a fixed fee basis. This means that we will agree with you a fixed price to do the work. We will confirm our fees in writing in advance.
Our fees are reasonable. We do not charge hourly rates because we have found that most people prefer the certainty of knowing the cost of legal services at the start and not at the end of their case.
We can offer a variety of flexible payment options to our clients. We will be happy to explain these to you when you make a Free Enquiry and we can understand your needs and requirements.