Problems faced by the ‘Windrush' migrants are putting the UK's immigration system in the spotlight. By law, your right to live and work in the UK must be checked in everyday situations. Banks, landlords and hospitals carry out these checks. But it can be hard to prove you have a right to be in the UK. The ‘Windrush generation' came from Commonwealth countries to live in the UK before 1971. But some of them have recently had trouble showing they have a legal right to live and work here. People often turn to experts for help with problems. Here are some useful facts.

Who can help me with immigration in the UK?

Immigration advisers and lawyers can help with:

  • applications to enter or remain in the UK
  • documents needed for employment
  • nationality and citizenship issues.

In the UK, advising people about immigration is a regulated activity. It is a criminal offence for anyone to provide such advice if they are not properly regulated. Immigration advisers in the UK are regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner). Legal executives, barristers and solicitors can also help you with immigration. There are different regulators for lawyers. So, before you take immigration advice from anyone, make sure they are legally allowed to help you. Ask them who they are regulated by and check that they are regulated with that regulator. If they say they are regulated by OISC you should check that they are included in the OISC Adviser Finder. Visit our Types of lawyer page to learn about regulators

How much will it cost? Finding someone to help you with immigration advice

Search online for local immigration advisers. Ask if they offer a free consultation and be clear about fees. You can get free advice about your situation from charities such as Citizens Advice, or by visiting a Law Centre or a free legal advice clinic. More help

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