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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. What is covered by legal aid
  3. 3. Immigration and asylum cases
  4. 4. Exceptional case funding

Immigration and asylum cases

In England and Wales, legal aid is only available for asylum cases and certain types of immigration cases. This means that many people who are on a low income and who need to make an immigration application will not be able to get free legal advice.

Legal aid is available for the following types of cases:

  • Asylum 
  • Immigration bail 
  • Some applications made by victims of domestic abuse
  • Applications made by a victim of trafficking
  • Proceedings before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC)
  • Applications for asylum support (if the application is for housing and financial support)
  • Applications made by children under 18 who are looked after by a local authority or who are separated from their parents

Immigration claims that are not covered by legal aid for people or children who do not fall into one of the groups listed above include

  • Family and private life applications 
  • EU Settlement Scheme applications 
  • British citizenship applications
  • Applications to the Windrush Scheme

When a person has a case that legal aid funding does not cover, they may be able to apply for Exceptional Case Funding. If this is granted, they will be able to ask any legal aid representative who specialises in immigration law to take on their case.